Sunday, March 31, 2013

Exact Obedience and Brotherly Love

They emphasize something with us here.  It applies to teaching anybody the gospel.

  This diagram:


Your job as a teacher is to make it look like this:


You are not supposed to be building a relationship with the student, so much as building a relationship between the student and God.

... I am feeling the spirit constantly and learning so much.

Thank you for raising me in a way that having this huge dosage of the spirit seems natural.  I love you guys.

How does the job search go?  How are the kids dealing with my absence?

I think I can deal with being separated from you because I have been thrown into a new environment where I don’t expect you to be, whereas you are in the same environment just without me. 

Today I had a “chicken fried steak”, and it made me miss yours.

I get more letters than everyone in the district except Sister Grand, who gets ten a day.

The culture is very different than it used to be.  It is one of exact obedience and brotherly love. 

The worst thing here is that there are some sister who still think they are in High School.  Luckily, they aren’t in my zone.

It feels so good to wear the name of Christ over my heart.

I love you guys.


Elder Hyde

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Wear the Badge. I Have the Calling. I'm a Real Missionary Now.

Here is a transcription of Keenan's physical letter (partially redacted) from 23-March-2013

       … I am limited on time.  We are only in the MTC for 12 days, so they have every minute scheduled.  In fact, I am not writing in my journal tonight so I can write to you.  
       I love you all so much.  The MTC has given me so much.  I feel like Elisha:  I have a double portion of the spirit than I had before. 
       My first companion is Elder Johnson.  He is so much like me!  We get along extremely well.  
       There are two other Elders we share our room with.  Elder Danciak and Elder Armstrong.  Although that's not exactly true.  Elder Armstrong went home today.  It is strange; I feel true sorrow for someone I just met. 
       So now I am in a trio.  Elder Danciak is from New Jersey and 24.  He is the oldest in our District, and I am the youngest. He is kinda dopey, but he gives amazing blessing and is so in touch with the spirit. 
       Elder Johnson is 19, and personality-wise is a good mix of Ian and me.  So we are best friends, I feel, has had some very similar experiences to me …
       I think we have the least populated room in the MTC (I get my own bunk bed!)
       I would be able to send you pictures until I am out in the field.  The computers here are very secure.
       I leave for California the 2nd of April at 8:30 am.
       I thank you for your letters.
       Today, I learned that I have been praying wrong my whole life.  Praying is like a priesthood blessing:  It must be guided by the spirit.  Prayer is the act of unifying our will with Heavenly Father's.
       The showers here are possessed.  I think they purposely set them up to vary in temperature randomly.   The good news is that Elders only take 2-minute showers.  The bad part is you come out burned and frostbitten.
       The first day I was here I caught a cold, so I still don’t know what it feels like to be healthy at the MTC.
       I have run into both David and Avery. David will only talk to me in Russian (he has to), but it was nice talking to him just the same.  Avery is doing well. 
       There is a great visual joke walking around.  There is an Elder who is fat, hairy and balding.  He looks 35 even though he is probably 20. His name: Elder Malais
       My P-day is Monday, so I will reply to all e-mails then. 
       We are in a great branch.  We are honestly better than most in the MTC. 
       The food here is lame.  It’s good, but I swear they add fiber to EVERYTHING.  At least the bathrooms are nice.
       I have so much to tell you all, but lights out is soon.
I wear the badge.  I have the calling.  I’m a real missionary now.
                                    Elder Keenan Hyde

"Guys" are the Males at Home Who Are Dating our Girlfriends

Monday is my PDay. They only allow us 30 minutes on the computer, and it is on a timer.
I have two companions. Elders Johnson and Danciak. There is more information on them in my letter I sent you.
There are 2 Elders and 4 Sisters in our District.
The Elder companionship is Elder Ewell (Yule) and Elder Kretschmer. Ewell is from Vernal and is a pretty boy, but he is a good elder. Elder Kretschmer is from Illinois, and is one of the wittiest people I have ever met.
The two sister companionships are Sister Lohman and Sister Grant, and Sister Parkin and Sister Smith. They are such perfect examples of what Sister missionaries should be.
The Spirit is so strong here. I feel so open to revelation and learning.
Last night, we were able to watch a talk from Elder Bednar. It has never been seen except in the MTC. Elder Bednar does a great cookie monster impression. His talk was on the character of Christ. Whenever Christ was going through personal trials, he always looked out towards others.
Would you please send me an email with a list of everyone who wants emails(Question Mark).
The computers here don´t allow us to do normal characters.
I love you all very much.
Our teachers here are great. We have class as a district. We are in class all day, with plenty of personal study time. Tomorrow we teach our first real investigator. Well, we don´t know if they are a member or not, but we have been taught to invite others to come unto Christ. Everybody is an investigator.
The food is here is pretty standard Sysco stuff. On Sundays and Wednesdays, we have unlimited creamery ice cream. They also have caffeine free Coke.
Send me as much mail as you want, it makes the other Elders jealous.
They say that as missionaries we have the right to ask God for things we otherwise wouldn´t be entitled to ask. I have been praying for Dad to get a job. Tell me how this goes, and tell me if you want me to ask our Heavenly Father for anything special for you guys.
We are not supposed to say ¨guys¨ in the mission field. According to the MTC President´s wife, ¨guys¨ are the males at home who are dating our girlfriends.
All my love,
Elder Hyde

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We dropped Keenan off at the MTC today.  

We pulled up, pushed him out of the car and drove away palms on the back window. 

They have the system down.  There are numbered spots along the curb with a group of missionaries waiting to greet the greenies.  We got out of the car long enough to hug him good bye and we were on our way.  

Keenan said that when he entered the MTC there would be a sign above the door that reads END PART ONE.  There may not be an actual sign, it is true nonetheless.  

Tomorrow he wakes up and it is the beginning of PART TWO!

Keenan with Grandma and Grandpa Harrison

Keenan with Grandpa and Grandma Hyde

The 2nd to last family portrait before departure

Sincerely, The Old Folks at Home (Jordan, Valyn, Channing, Schuyler and Brighton)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Keenan Pinning Seminary Map

The seminary has their students and graduates put a pin in the map when they get their calls. 
Keenan with Seminary Mission Map

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Just 3 days to live...

What would you do if you had only three days to live? That's about how I feel right now. I go into the MTC this Wednesday at 1:00, and I don't know what to do with myself.

Pretty much all I can do is study. Tomorrow I go to pick up the last of my supplies, which is mostly toiletries. Tuesday, I will be packing everything and making sure I have enough room to bring stuff back. Between all that, I guess I will read Preach My Gospel and the other three books I am allowed to take (Jesus the Christ, Our Heritage, and Our Search for Happiness).

Mostly, I just feel like sleeping in as late as possible the next two days. I am still in denial.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dear Elder Hyde

When I first got my mission call, I have to admit, I wasn't really that excited. The opportunity to serve was nice, yes, but in California? Why not somewhere more exotic, like Asia someplace?

Regardless, It appears I will not be leaving the West anytime soon. My wanderlust must be fulfilled later in life.

Don't get me wrong, I am honored and excited to serve a mission. Serving in California is probably good for me. It will humble me in different ways than serving a mission elsewhere would.

I have but 5 days left to prepare. I don't know if I am ready, but I guess I'm about to find out.