Monday, December 23, 2013

I'm Dreaming of A Green Christmas

I am typing this email from my new iPad. I couldn't ask for a better
Christmas present from the Brethren.

We got a new heater this morning because the old one broke.

We are having Christmas dinner with the Hagberg family. He just had a
triple bypass, but he still wants us to come.

Elder champagne has at least twice the amount of presents as all the
elders combined. But his birthday is the 27th, so that might have
something to do with it.

Our iPads have an app that keeps track of everything for us so that we
can focus on teaching. We actually picked up a new investigator from
sharing Christmas videos with people. His name is Nick.

People keep unloading their unwanted Christmas goodies on us. I don't
know if I can eat any more brownie brittle.

Happy holidays!

- Elder Hyde

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Old Friend the Blues

Elder Snyder and Elder Champagne
We have two new Elders in the District. On the left is Elder Snyder, and on the Right is Elder Champagne. Elder Champagne is my new companion.

Elder Champagne is great. He is cleaner than Boyer, quieter than Boyer and all around more mellow than Boyer. He is from Mobile, Alabama, but originally from Louisiana. He doesn't have an accent though. 

We helped a less-active chop a tree down this week, and I am still sore. It was a lot of fun though. 

Having to carry the weight of the area this week got to me. I am feeling overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time. 

We had Zone Meeting this week, which I enjoy.

Living in farmland is beginning to change my perspective on life (now if I see more than one car within a space of five minutes, I think the road is too busy. My definition of "loud" has changed).

We get our iPads this week, Wednesday I believe. Exciting stuff.

We joined the youth this week in caroling to the widows of the ward.  It was a great experience.

Our heater broke again this week. so the heater guy is coming buy again.

There are some specific people that you should pray for, if you are interested. 

Prayer Roll

Elizabeth May: She needs to understand authority, the Book of Mormon, and needs to continue progressing.

Daisy Fenn: She needs to have the desire to meet with us on a regular basis, and feel the need to change in her life.

Dick Stewart: He needs to understand that part of living the gospel is coming to church and taking the sacrament.

Lane Coey: He needs help overcoming addictions and returning to activity.

Those are the main people we are working with. 

The frost has set in. So it's cold now. 

Elder Hyde

Monday, December 9, 2013

What if transfers, perhaps, were a little bit more?

Boyer leaves in T-minus 2 and a half hours.

He will be replaced by Elder Champagne tomorrow. I served around Elder Champagne in Rocklin, so I already know him. He is, as my dad would describe him, a goat-roper. He is from the same town as Forrest Gump. Alabama someplace, if I recall.

We are also saying goodbye to Elder Call, who goes home as well. I will be companions with Tepox today, because we will both be left alone. But hey, that means I get to drive!

I just got over being sick yesterday. It has been a terrible week. 

On the up and up, our heater is getting fixed tomorrow morning. Yay!

Christmas is coming up, and I am more of a baby for cold than I realized. We got our first frost yesterday morning, and there are patches of snow on the Buttes. It is maybe 40 degrees at the coldest, and I feel like I am going to die. People make fun of me because I am from Utah. But I was always this way. 

This is a picture of the Buttes a week or so ago, before it froze. This is what the weather has been like for a while. Overcast and pretty chilly. Occasional fog. 

Until next week, 

Elder Hyde

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Misadventures of a Misanthropic Missionary

This week, we received the news that we are one of 30 pilot missions for.....


Exciting news. 

We get them the week of Dec. 17th. :) More news as it develops.

I was sick this week, and I still am. Flu-like symptoms, minus the vomiting, praise Allah. 

We are working on picking up a family of at least 5, the Fenns. They are already friends with some active members. Prayers that we could pick them up would be appreciated.

We also have another potential investigator named Ka Yang. She is Hmong, but speaks good English, so we should be able to keep her if we pick her up.

My companion is the trunkiest sonuvagun this side of the Mississippi. He has a mere 7 days left. Then I enter the grand unknown of a new companion. 

Elder Call also goes home next week, so I will be companions with Elder Tepox for a day or two. Should be fun, since he still doesn't speak great English.

I am still attempting to find a member with a good internet connection and Skype, so that I can call on Christmas. 

- Elder Hyde

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bring Me A Razor

I feel that my week can be summarized by the following excerpt from "History of the Church." Joseph and Sidney were mobbed the night before.

"The next morning I went so see Elder Rigdon, and found him crazy, and his head highly inflamed, for they had dragged him by his heels, and those, too, so high from the ground that he could not raise his head from the rough, frozen surface, which lacerated it exceedingly; and when he saw me he called to his wife to bring him his razor. She asked him what he wanted of it; and he replied, to kill me. Sister Rigdon left the room, and he asked me for his razor; I asked him what he wanted of it, and he replied he wanted to kill his wife; and he continued delirious for some days." (History of the Church, Vol.1 p. 265)

Generally, this week I have been an irascible, stubborn, angry old man. I feel that I have been dragged from me mental home, beaten emotionally, and tarred and feathered. 


We are teaching an investigator named Elizabeth May. She loves the Book of Mormon, but she is also meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses. We are trying to get her to understand authority.

We are also teaching an eternigator named Oscar.  He is an amazing guy who had a mighty change of heart.

Our area is much slower than the areas immediately around us, which makes me think we are doing something wrong. The Spanish Branch has baptisms at least once a month, Gridley 1st has 10 people on date, and YSA/Gridley 3rd baptize about every other month, sometimes much more often.

We are also teaching a 19 year old named Austin, but he lives in Chico, so we will have to hand him over eventually.

That is the bulk of our work. 


The rain season has begun. My bike needs maintenance, but the only bike shops are outside of the zone. So I guess it will have to wait until I leave the zone.

As far as the Christmas package goes, transfers are next week, but Boyer is going home so I will not leave. For Christmas, I could use some more dress socks and maybe some garments, but other than that I don't need anything. Whatever you want to send is fine. Oh, and Peachee. I still haven't been able to find it anywhere. 
Great Australian Soda.  It's positively Peachee 

There is a great talk I found that you should watch/listen/read. "Warnings From Outer Space," by N. Eldon Tanner, 1972 October Conference. 

It's kinda freaky that Schuyler is looking like me. 

I can receive pictures via this email.

Most of the leaves are gone, and all the persimmon trees are kinda freaky looking, because even though all the leaves are gone, the orange fruit is still there. 

Elder Hyde

Monday, November 18, 2013

Zone Conference, as Conducted by Elder Hyde

We have zone conference this week with Elder Stanley G. Ellis, of the first quorum of the seventy. I got a call from the APs and I get the most vital position of Chorister for zone conference. I just hope that the weight of my calling doesn't kill me.

Allergies have been destroying the district. Basically everyone has been effected except for me and Haupeakui. 

I have started drawing a comic strip for the district. They seem to enjoy it. I will make copies. 

A scripture to ponder. Mark 14: 51-52. These verses have changed me life. I don't know what the new testament would be without them. 

Anyway, pretty slow week again. 

- Elder Hyde

Monday, November 11, 2013

Nothing Even Remotely Interesting

As the title would suggest, this week was boring and uninteresting. So instead, I will copy something that is interesting.

I feel gypped. I want a canoe. When I first saw the 140 pounds, I thought it was going to say that that was the average missionary weight gain. 

Well, I hope you have all had a good week!

- Elder Hyde

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, etc.

It is cold, officially. 

We had an investigator make it to Stake Conference this week. 

The Temple Presidency and the Mission Presidency spoke at Stake Conference. It was a great experience. 

No one came trick-or-treating at our house except for our 19 year old neighbor. So we have a big bag of candy to deal with now.

There is a mexican place called Los Charros here where you can buy these things called "Garranones Burritos" So that was fun.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, October 28, 2013

Paul, Can't You Do Something About this Rain?

The wet season is about to start. It rained heavily last night, and it is supposed to start picking up this next week.

We had dinner with the Single Adults this week. Not the young single adults, the old single adults. They were all around 70 and welcomed our youthful presence. We got to listen to them tell stories about Halloween from the 50s and how it has changed over time. It was quite an experience, very enjoyable. 
Transfers were last night, but nothing changed except Boyer became District Leader. This means that all three of my companions have been district leader while I have been with them. Everybody says I will be District Leader Training next transfer.

We have a new Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Nako. He moved from Hawaii to Gridley. Massive change. He will be a great ward mission leader though. 

We have a new investigator named Elizabeth May. She has a lot of potential if she can overcome her social fears with church. She doesn't want to be part of a church that gossips and judges her for not wearing a dress every week. We will just have to convince her that the church is the true one, so it is worth it. 

I think that is everything for this week. Good luck, and Lots of love!

- Elder Hyde

Monday, October 21, 2013

7 Months

Yesterday I hit the 7-Month mark of my mission. Pretty cool stuff.

We got a new ward mission leader who has a lot of greenie fire. Things should be on the up and up.

This week was extremely ordinary. Nothing of even mild interest has happened. I am trying really hard to think of something interesting to write about. 

I feel vaguely ill currently. Not sure why.

The flies and mosquitoes are starting to die off from the cold.

Our house is pretty clean. 

Well, that's everything. Sorry about that. 

- Elder Hyde

Monday, October 14, 2013

General Epistle to the Utahns

We had a baptism this weekend. His name is Donnie Albers. Despite his family being entirely Anti-Mormon, he was named after Donnie Osmond. He bore a beautiful testimony this week. He is still a little sketchy in the language he uses, but he will get there.
Donny Albers

Halloween is coming up, and I am very excited. We live on a street where a lot of kids will come trick-or-treating, so we need to go get a bag of candy. I am in the Spirit of Halloween. I got a mask from the Dollar Tree and Scared the heck of Herrerra.

Halloween Preparations

For only costing a dollar, I am quite pleased.

Other than that, not a lot happened this week. It is getting cold, and suitcoat season is about to begin.

Elder Hyde

Monday, October 7, 2013


Conference was amazing. It's like the twice yearly Super Bowl for missionaries. I especially like Elder Hollands talk. It was exactly what I needed this weekend.

Boyer has been sick this whole week, so we didn't get as much done as we normally do. We were able to visit an extremely less-active lady. She is very sick and has to go to the hospital on a weekly basis for injections of some kind. Some of her sickness could go away if her house had been cleaned at least once in the past 15 years. She was nice. She was watching "Cool Runnings" the whole time we were over there though.

Keenan and Charley
There are some good sized frogs out here. They come out at night, and they are getting slower because of the cold. This is Charley. I kept it overnight just for fun and released it back into the irrigation ditches. 

It beginning to get a lot colder. Life is good.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, September 30, 2013

JESUS SAVES! Seek him!

We saw a house with that painted on a giant sign in front. We decided to knock and talk to the guy. He is a Seventh-Day Adventist, and is now a new investigator. He says he talked with missionaries for a year and half a while back. Unfortunately, those missionaries never read the Book of Mormon with him, and in fact almost converted to Adventistism.

Good things are in store with him.

We were helping a less-active member clean out his house. It is one of those storage houses that people have around here. Anyway, I found a little purple harmonica and he gave it to me. So I am becoming a harmonica pro in my spare time. 

It is becoming fall here. Leaves are changing colors, and there is a chill in the morning. Suit coat season is soon. 

We helped several people gather walnuts this week. My hands are stained from taking the green shell off. 

I went on exchanges with Elder Tepox this week in his area. I obviously don't speak Spanish, so it was an interesting day. An investigator gave us tunas. This is cactus fruit. It was really good, even though I got a lot of little needles in my hand. 

Spanish also got a hold of some Ghost Peppers. Evidently, the spice isn't in the mouth, it just turns your rear end into a military grade flame-thrower. I am glad I didn't eat one.

I think that's everything for this week. Thanks for reading!

- Elder Hyde

More Photos (posted by family at home):
This is our whole zone. You can probably read all of the name badges. If not, you probably don't even care who they are anyway.

this is some weird Filipino fruit some members gave us. It isn't very good. A lot like coagulated blood actually.
The fruit is probably a kamias, however that one looks a bit odd.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gridley: The Potpourrific Grab Bag of FUN!

When we received the phone call, the fog was thick. I was beginning to wonder about the safety of our work, especially given the driving skills of Agent Boyer.

The voice that broke the silence was high, youthful. It was Sister Moulton. "60 year old lady. She lives on Luther, In Live Oak."

The line went dead. 

"That's the most obscure referral I have ever received," said Agent Boyer. 

"Well, might as well go check it out. It's not like we have anything better to do," I replied. 

So there we were, tracting a long, poorly lit street in the rain. Our black raincoats kept the worst of it out, but the experience was still far from pleasant. 

We passed several abandoned houses. Those that were still lived in were filled with old people or rednecks. None of them knew a thing about the lady we were looking for. 

We came to a house with a long gravel driveway. Mangy, unkempt dogs barked incessantly as we approached the door. 

But wait! Out in the field, a handsome Mexican motioned us over. As we got closer, he saw our badges, and instantly relaxed.

"I thought you guys were the cops," he said, letting out his breath.

We questioned him about our mystery woman, who may or may not be interested in hearing The Message. He said it sounded like Marsh, a lady who lives down the street. 

As we left, we weighed our options. Even if this was the lady, it doesn't look good when two men dressed in black knock on the door when it's nearly dark outside. We called it a day and walked the dreary road back to the car. 


Other exciting things that happened this week:

- Spanish got more peppers for us to try. I politely declined. 
- We discovered both of the new sisters in the district are terrible at soccer.
- Still no new investigators. 
- Heavy rainfall on Saturday helped us pretend to be FBI agents in the ghetto of Live Oak.
- I discovered the wonders of Jarritos Mexican Cola.
- I am studying the Old Testament. It is sweet.

Well, all of this drama has pretty much exhausted me. Have a good week!

- Elder Hyde

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Transfers and Amonds

Hello all,

Transfer calls were last night, and our district was not effected at all. Very strange. 

We had dinner last night with the Goodman family. He is actually called to be in the Spanish Branch, so we don't see them as much. He is a farmer for a living. He grows Amonds. I say Amonds instead of Almonds because that is how they say it out here. They say they shake the "L" out of them. 

We found a family this week that has a lot of potential. They are very musically inclined. We walked in and they have a drum set in their front room. I was able to show off a little bit, and they like me more now. I also tuned it up a little so it sounds better. They appreciated that.

I discovered this week that my Blog has an international audience. So if you are reading this in a foreign country, thank you! I also have no idea why you would want to follow the boring exploits of an average Mormon Missionary.

Almond and Kiwi harvest is soon, so we will be eating a lot of those. I am really looking forward to pomegranate season. They say they get ripe sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. That will be awesome.

I gave a talk in church this Sunday on the importance of members in missionary work. I mentioned how no one knows where Saratoga Springs or Gridley is, and for the rest of the day nearly everyone came up to me and told me that they knew where Saratoga Springs was because of Mia Love, and Gridley is famous among Mormons. I have never heard of Gridley, and I don't know any other Mormons who know where Gridley is. Apparently, David O. McKay and every prophet since has been to Gridley. 

We spent a lot of time in Live Oak this week, and went near the Buttes. The Sutter Buttes are supposedly the smallest mountain range in the world. I don't know about that. They are pretty small though.

I think that's everything for this week.

- Elder Hyde
Sutter Butte Photo from California State Parks Website
Almond Trees in Bloom  near Sutter Butte

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gridley: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Hello all,

This week has been mostly uneventful. Work is slow. 

Mosquitoes are out in a major way, because most of the orchards just got flooded again. 

I don't really know what else to say. 

Transfers are next Sunday, so it will be fun to see where everyone goes. 

At weekly planning on Friday, we accidentally showed up at the building during Zone Leader conference. It gave me a chance to see Elder Payne, Elder Edwards, and Elder Nalder again. So that was nice. 

I finally feel at home in Gridley. I know the place, I can get around, and I know all the interesting places and people. It feels nice. 

Kiwis trees smell nasty. 

We had a discussion as Elders and we decided that we are always protected by the Spirit. Gridley and Live Oak are a lot more sketch than we thought they were. A kid in Live Oak was murdered last week, and there is a strong drug presence in the area. The Spanish Missionaries work a lot in the labor camps, and everybody says they are lucky to not have been mugged yet. I am sure part of that is Mexican stereotyping, but it is also a valid concern. It is so cool that none of us ever feel in danger, even when half the people that live there do.

Anyway, have a good time wherever you are. 

- Elder Hyde

Monday, September 2, 2013

Yay for missionary work!

This week we have been working towards getting an eternigator baptized. His name is Donnie. He is half Dutch/South African and half American. His accent sounds fake, as all South African accents do. He is very knowledgeable about scriptures, Jewish history, word roots, etc. but he isn't as spiritual as he needs to be. He has been watching the RM, the Singles Ward, etc. to teach himself about Mormon Culture. He asks odd questions.

We have also been trying to get a hold of a former investigator, but all the houses on the lot look abandoned. Turns out, they just live in a house that looks abandoned. More on this as it develops. 

Bugs are a lot bigger here. Spiders are at least twice if not three times the size as the ones in Utah. I keep trying to get pictures, but they hide a lot. Flies and Bees are also much larger. There are all sorts of animals out here I have never come in contact with. Like gophers. 

We met a family this week tracting. He offered us dove offal fried in garlic butter. How could we say no? Gizzard and heart taste surprisingly good. We are eating dinner with them tomorrow, and they said they would feed us moose. Should be exciting. 

We had dinner with a family this week, the Parkers, and the whole time the spirit was telling me that they are among the noble and great ones, and that I should listen closely. I learned a lot from them. Earlier that week, we met Sister Parkers mother who is from Germany. I was able to talk to her about family history, and about how her conversion story was similar to the conversion of my ancestors. Very stubborn Germans need intense spiritual experiences to convert. 

The Parkers have traveled extensively, and they said the best place on earth is Jerusalem. They are both converts and have also had intense spiritual experiences. They are my favorite family in the ward, which is unfortunate as they are moving to Tahoe in the next few weeks. 

There is a prank culture among the Elders here. Luckily, there are only tame pranks, mostly just spreading out peoples pamphlets and cards. It is fun.

With love,

- Elder Hyde

Monday, August 26, 2013

Naked Companions

School has started here. Although they are so small, Gridley and Live Oak each have their own high school. You think the town in abandoned, until school gets out. I don't understand how a small town can have so many cars. 

I found out that Elder Boyer is older than our ward mission leader. Boyer is 24 and Bro. Hardwick is 23. 

Gerald Gocken Sr. was in church yesterday. It was nice to see a somewhat familiar face (Gerry II and Gerry III are in our ward)

Elder Boyer is the most interesting man I have ever met. Let's just leave it at that. Well, actually, Elder Tepox can't hear elder boyers name, and here is why: 

I have a goal to not see my companions naked. Thus far, I am 0/3. It is rather obnoxious actually. But Elder Boyer took it beyond all normal limits. We will leave it at that.

I had a great spiritual experience this week that I shared in my letter to you. I think you will like it.

I don't have much to report on actually. 

I love you guys. 

- Elder Hyde

A Much Better Week

One and All,

This week went so much better than last week. The work: Slow and hard. No new investigators, no real successes actually. But at least nothing went wrong. 

I will end this transfer with extra money in my allotment, which is unusual. Not that I am complaining. It is sweet. 

I am slowly adjusting to the abrupt change in lifestyle here. Gridley is a vastly different place than Rocklin, and as a result there has been a steep learning curve. 

There are a lot of abandoned houses here. It is not unusual for there to be two or three houses on the lot, but usually one of them is purely for trash. Broken windows, holes in the doors, and huge mountains of trash in the house. It is kinda creepy actually. There is a guy we have been trying to get a hold of who has three houses on the lot, but ALL of them are full of trash. He lives in the mobile home. 

I need to take more pictures. 

Elder Tepox paid me 5 bucks to eat a tree pepper. My mouth was on fire for at least an hour, but it was totally worth it. 

I don't think anything else happened. Have a good week!

- Elder Hyde

Monday, August 19, 2013

Worst P-Days Ever.

Our day so far:

Forcefully woken up at 5:45 today by the Spanish Elders, because apparently we are playing soccer today. I didn't get to sleep until 1 this morning because of insomnia. Thus, I was awoken in the middle of a sleep cycle, and it took me several hours to wake up.

On the way back, Elder Tepox flew off his (Elder Boyers) bike. He probably broke his arm. They are currently at the hospital.

The reason Spanish is borrowing our bikes is because their car key broke at our house. So we have two mission cars in the driveway.

Today is Gridley 1st turn with the car, so Elder Boyer and I are mooching off of others to get around today.

Then I go to email, and find out some old lady almost killed my Dad and some genius MLMer doesn't know what he is doing.

This is about par for the course as far as PDays have been.

Mostly I am just trying to stay positive, although this week has been one of the worst of my life.

Life goes on, I suppose.

Love you all!

- Elder Hyde

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gridley Part 2

This city is awesome. 

There are a lot of stray dogs about. Orchards everywhere. Lots of old people. Very strong saints. 

I love how flat Gridley is. Biking is a breeze.

We cover part of Gridely and the city of Live Oak. Kinda like Harvest Hills and all of Lehi.

We email from the family history center. There are a lot of sisters in the zone, which is kinda bad and good. It is interesting.

This place is nice.

Elders Call, Tepox, Herrera, Bliss

These are the Elders in the district. From left to right: Call, Tepox, Herrera and Bliss
- Elder Hyde

Monday, August 12, 2013

Gridley, CA


I have been called to serve in the Liberty 1st Ward in Gridley CA. Dad would be allergic to this whole town. The main occupation here is growing walnuts. There are acres and acres of orchards up here. Walnuts, peaches, persimmons, and lots of other stuff. It is cool.

We are in a shared car area, and Gridley is very flat, so I will have to watch my weight more closely.

My new companion is Elder Boyer, and I haven't stopped laughing since I got here. He is one of the funniest guys I have ever met. He got in a bike accident a couple transfers ago and lost his front tooth. He has a spacer/retainer thing to replace it, but he likes taking it out to amuse small children.
There are 8 sisters in the Zone, quite a lot for the mission. We also have Spanish Elders and Sisters. We hang out with Elders Call and Tepox a lot. Tepox is from Puebla Mexico, and doesn't speak English yet. He knows some key phrases like "So Nasty!" "Shut up," and "I want to go to Casa Lupe." Casa Lupe is the Mexican restaurant around here.

We share the car with Elders Herrera and Bliss. They are good guys.

This place reminds me a lot of what I remember of Vernal. Small, close-knit farming community. The locals tell me Gridley was founded by 12 Mormon families. Most of their descendants are still around, which means the whole town is related to each other. Which could be a good thing, as long as I don't offend anyone.

 So far, I am enjoying myself here. It is a nice, quiet, temperate town. And I get lots of fresh peaches.

With love,

Elder Hyde

Monday, August 5, 2013

Temple Trip

On Saturday, we had the privilege of going to the Sacramento Temple. It was a great experience. It is interesting how they do things different based on the temple.

The Sacramento Temple is beautiful, just like all temples. Elder Heninger and I went with Elder Nalder, a missionary from Canada who is also our Zone Leader. Brother Jones from downstairs took us.

Oh, by the way, I got transferred.

I will now be serving in the Liberty Ward in Gridley. It is just southwest of Yuba City from what I hear. I will be serving with Elder Boyer. When I first heard his name, I thought it was Elder Voyeur, but luckily I was wrong.

Today I will be packing. I hate packing. But I am excited nonetheless.

We picked up 6 new investigators yesterday. That has to be some kind of record. We picked up a family of 5 known as the Husmanns. We also picked up a 14 year old girl, who is extremely spiritually sensitive. All of them are looking good for baptism in the next 6 weeks, and I have to leave.

Also yesterday, I stood in the circle to give Kris Conrad the Aaronic Priesthood. It was awesome. I love these experiences.

Wish me luck in Gridley, and remember, all mail needs to be sent to the mission office for the next week.

I love you all!

- Elder Hyde

Friday, August 2, 2013

Keenan Big Chicken

Last night we received a text with this photo. 

Hi there this is Sister Moses.  Your son thought you would enjoy this picture.

We asked: "Is there a story behind it, or just the two of them with a big chicken?"

Her response: They were doing service work today for me and they decided to have a little fun with our chickens. They had a blast.  Boys will be boys.  

That is a pretty good sized chicken to have perched on your arm.

This photo is begging for a caption. 


Monday, July 29, 2013

A Mini-Mission

This week we had the opportunity to have a mini-missionary with us; my second cousin no less. He had to remind me of that fact when we first met.

The first day with Matthew went pretty much down the tubes. He borrowed a bike from his friend that was a piece of junk. The pedal fell of twice, and the back tire was bent so that it ran along the brake the whole time. He also tore his shirt pretty bad on a gate. (Which was my fault, I guess. If you want to know more, just ask him.)

Luckily, we had an amazing dinner appointment that night to make up for it. We had dinner with the Gallegos, a recently married couple. He served a mission for three years, a year and a half in Sacramento, and 2 years in Provo, UT. He immigrated from Ecuador, so there were some visa issues.

The second day had many redeeming qualities. We got a lot of work done. We also ran into this guy who went into extreme detail about his previous and current sins. I would go into more detail, but I don't know who is reading this. Let's just say if I were to write a book about him, I would title it "The Vulgar and Vivid Tales of a Part-Time Rabbit Farmer."

The third day was pretty much average. I forgot to mention that the last two days went so well because we were able to use Matthew's truck. That made us a lot more efficient.
I will likely get transferred on Sunday, so any mail that will arrive on next Monday or later needs to be sent to the mission office, or I will likely never get it.

As I get ready to leave Rocklin, or at least I will within the next 6 weeks, I remember some good things about it.

I am extremely grateful to have served in the Rocklin 2nd ward, where the ward council is amazing, the members are so helpful, and everyone eagerly welcomes a homeless man into church.

I remember spending time with Payne chasing turkeys and squirrels. I remember the days when it broke 110 degrees, but I was so grateful to be out that it didn't matter. I remember running into crazy 'Christians' who hate everybody but themselves. I remember the great time I had on exchanges with so many great missionaries.

Rocklin was amazing, but I think I am ready for my next adventure.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Investigators and The Incredible Hulk

The rhubarb soda was actually very good. You would like it a lot. Elder Heninger thought it was very good too. It's probably the fifth best soda I have had.

Mike is going along okay, he still has issues with drinking and smoking. He can't get baptized until he has a permanent address, so he is a long term project.

****** has issues with smoking, and he doesn't really want to take the lessons. He just wants to hang out.

**** is a less-active member. He was an active, temple-going member in Logan for a few years, but then he got a girlfriend and it was all downhill from there. He has 3 kids, and we almost have them coming to church. He just needs to stop being lazy and go.

**** was another less-active we ran into. He grew up in Payson UT, and stopped going to church when he joined the navy. He ended up homeless for a couple years, and this church in Roseville called Bridgeway helped him get back on his feet. He knows the Book of Mormon is true, but he feels obligated to Bridgeway. He hasn't smoked since we met him, so I think we can make a big difference for him.

********* is a weird guy that was in the area book. We set up an appointment, but he was a no-show.

We also have an investigator named *** that we are most likely going to drop this week. He has read way too much anti-mormon material. We answer his questions boldly and accurately, but he won't let go of certain things. He claims that 1 Nephi 1:3 proves the Book of Mormon isn't true, because Nephi says he wrote the book from his own knowledge. We explained that of course it was from his own knowledge because you can't write a book from somebody else's brain, and he was guided by the spirit, etc. We finally got him to pray about the Book of Mormon, but if he doesn't get an answer we will drop him.

The weather is beautiful. It's been hovering around a hundred all week. IT has been nice.

We get a mini-missionary tonight. He will stay with us for 3 days. This is a unique opportunity, one that will not likely be repeated. Heninger only knows of a few missionaries who have hosted a mini-missionary. I guess this means Michael could do that if Drew works it out.

My thighs got so big that I busted a seam on a pair of my pants. I am going to send an email to Missionary Mall.

I thank you all for you letters. I love you guys.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, July 15, 2013

Email to Family (redacted) July 15th, 2013

Thank you for the package. It has great stuff that I wanted in there.  

I will try to get letters off today for all of you guys.

A few days ago I got TWO flat tires, and so instead of patching them up I decided it would be better to get the slime tubes. I had already patched both tubes a couple times so it was time.

There are some sketch apartments across the street called Sunset Apartments. The cops just recently pulled out 2.2 kilos of heroine from the whole complex. We have several people there we are beginning to teach. Scotty, Levi, Paul, Jonathan and whoever else is outside. So if you could pray for them, that would be great.

Heninger and I are beginning to get along a little better. A lot of this is because of Elder Nalder, our zone leader. I was on exchanges with him a few days ago and we had a long talk. He helped me see what I need to do to become a better missionary.
There are 3 weeks left of the transfer, and I am likely going to leave this area. Just as a heads up. For that last week, send all my mail to the mission office, so that if I do leave I will still get my mail.

Thank you a lot for the music. So far I have only listened to the classical CD, but it was awesome. It really helped me.

I love you guys.
- Elder Keenan


I turned 19 this week, and every missionary was making fun of me for it. "You are finally old enough to be out here!" They say.

"When I am your age, I will be home," I say.

Then they shut up.

I got gorgeous packages from my family and Amanda. Full of goodies. I took a video of me opening the package from my family and things, so you will see it eventually.

Elder Edwards and Elder Worthington snuck into our apartment and decorated for my birthday. They also gave me an inflatable Salamander from the dollar store, representing the salamander letters. We have an investigator who won't read the Book of Mormon because of that.

I got a lot of sodas from family, most notably a rhubarb soda. I got a little dragon whose eyes bug out that I have named Archie. He has been getting a lot of use.

Amanda gave me a sweet tie, which, when combined with my glasses and overall knowledge of retro things, makes me look straight from 1966. At least according to my ward mission leader.

Mike has been doing well. The only issue we have is that his friends are mostly drug addicts. One of them showed up to the 3rd ward yesterday, and the bishop had to escort him out. So we need to talk to Mike about that.

We were able to teach some lessons in the sketch apartment across the street. They are some great characters over there. A lot of drug use, but a lot of nice people as well. I think we will see some good things come out of there.

I am so grateful for the chance I have to serve a mission.

- Elder Hyde

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Elder Hyde's Birthday at the Fellers

Got this photo via text today.
"Celebrated your sins birthday. This is him blowing out the lighter because I couldn't find the candles."

"Another fun shot of both of them.  And I meant your son's birthday not our sins birthday"

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mike Martin aka Wolf

We finally found a new investigator. His name is Mike Martin, but some call him Wolf. He was a navy seal, and has some pretty epic stories from the Colombian drug wars. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a few pamphlets, he read them all and came to church.

Oh, and he is homeless.

Mike Martin AKA Wolf
Elder Heninger, Worthington, Edwards and I were at the church for weekly planning, and we were going out for lunch when Mike approached us. He didn't ask for money or food, he just wanted to borrow a bike pump. We wanted to help fix up his bike, so we followed him. Turns out he is living by the creek behind the church. 

His bike was really messed up, so we decided we would take it to the bike shop and split the cost 4 ways. Luckily, the owner is LDS so he was more than willing to help us out, and he didn't even charge us.
It has only been three days and already it is easy to see the change in him. We borrowed some hair clippers from some members, and we are going to give him a haircut today.

Some members took us to this amazing place called Squeeze Inn. It was there I had the most fattening burger I have ever had in my life. The burger was sweet because they fry the cheese before they put it on. They also have this tradition there where you try to stick your toothpick in the ceiling. The whole restaurant ceiling is covered in the little flagged toothpicks.

It was finally warm enough for me this week. The hottest it got was 111, so not too bad. It didn't fall below 100 all week. It was nice.

This week was great. Hopefully we can find more people to teach.

Monday, July 1, 2013

New Companion

Hello all,

My new companion is Elder Heninger. He is from Lehi, UT. He went to Lone Peak high school. So far he is the only one I could have known before the mission. He is a lean, hyper 19 year old who has been out 10 months now. His work ethic is astounding. Take for instance last night. We had ten minutes of work time left with nothing to do. I said we should go home and start planning, but he wanted to get one more other lesson before we went in. Although we weren't able to teach a lesson, we were able to help move someone into our apartment complex.

Needless to say, I am the most tired I have been in a long time as a result of this week.

Even though we are working harder, our teaching pool is beginning to dry up. Maybe it is the 105+ degrees weather we have been having, or maybe it is a result of a overarching war of heavens. Regardless, we are busting our butts trying to find people to talk to. The bishop gave us a promise that if we visit at least six members a week, we will find someone to teach. He gave that promise as one who holds the keys over our area, so we are going to trust him.

My goals for this week are to develop more Christ-like attributes and not open my birthday package.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baptism and TRANSFERS!

First, the more important of the two.

On Saturday, June 22nd, Kris Oliver Conrad was baptized, and yesterday I was able to confirm him. It was an amazing experience. Kris is a soft spoken man who speaks casually of his adventures in Alaska, Switzerland, the Middle East and Nauvoo. He speaks more about Nauvoo than any place else, because he says that he felt something different there, something peaceful.

He raised two kids by himself, and has been looking into the church for years now. He decided it was time to call the missionaries. Although he lived in the 4th ward, his media referral still came to us. Some would say it was a technology glitch, but Payne, Kris and I came to the conclusion that it was because we were his missionaries. He said that no matter what happens in life, I will always be his "confirminator."

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for: TRANSFERS!

Payne has been transferred up north to Redding, to be a zone leader.

I am staying here. My new companion is Elder Henager. I think that's how it's spelled. I haven't met him yet, and I won't until tomorrow, so more on him next week.

This week has been very successful. We picked up a new investigator named Jim, and got several referrals to look into. Hopefully the broadcast from yesterday will inspire people to help us more.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 17, 2013

Photos posted by Proxy

Here is a photo of Elder Payne when he was super-sick
Elder Grundy
For comparison, here is a photo of Solomon Grundy

This is a picture of our district from before last transfer:
TOP From left to right: Elder Perkins, Tongi, Mansell, Me, and Fullenwider (The TExan)
Bottom: Payne, Edwards, and Taggart. (Worthington replaced Tongi and Nalder Replace Taggart. Not that you really care, but there you go).

Here is another picture of me from the Chili Cook off. That kid in the green shirt is Joshua Jones. He is cool

This Week - Exotic Emails and Superpower

This week has had some ups and downs.

On Friday, we had to hand our perfect investigator over to the 4th ward. It was sad, but probably for the best. Fortunately, Elder Payne will still baptize him, and I will still confirm him. And that's the best part anyway.

Also this week, I was able to get a sweet Father's Day present that my family hasn't received yet. It was an amazing stroke of luck that this guy was Mormon AND in my ward. You will see what I mean tomorrow or Wednesday...

I am still trying to get caught up on letters to people. So If you sent me something and you haven't got a letter back, sorry! I am working on it.

Something cool: Elder Edwards of the 3rd Ward tracted into the franchise owner of the Kripy Kremes of Northern California. So the guy gave him a free year of donuts. Luckily he is willing to share.

I got my first email from Jaron today, so now I am getting updates from Russia  AND South America. This way I don't have to leave the comfort of California, but I still get to have exotic missionary experiences.

There is a good chance that Payne will get transferred and I will get a new companion. We will find out Sunday night, so this time next week we will know.

Thank you all for reading this and supporting me! I love you all!

Also, a quick challenge. I am going to use my only superpower right now.

I want to challenge you all to re-read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end by Christmas. The best part is, I can promise you as a representative of Jesus Christ that if you do this, you will have the spirit in a greater measure, and you will come much closer to Christ.

Good luck, and have a good week.

- Elder Keenan

Friday, June 14, 2013

Package from California Roseville Mission Human Relations

We received a promised package from Keenan today. 

Five Books
This is probably the one from the Seventh Day Adventist Lady

Channing's new favorite book



Pocket Disc

Brighton says it looks like a yarmulke, Channing says it looks like a Rastacap, it is about the size of a yarmulke. 

Bookmark Things

Alice in Wonderland Puzzle

Fathers Day Card (which as instructed will not be opened until Father's Day)

Since this is not in the list we assume this is what he was going to send us originally

The Whole Kit and Kaboodle