Monday, April 29, 2013

A Test of Automatic Posting

Hello,

Living in Rocklin has been an interesting experience.
There has been little to no culture shock, seeing as Rocklin is exactly like American Fork and Roseville is just like Provo.
The only difference has been that it is green and warm out here.

Speaking of warm, we hit 94 on Saturday, which was great. You can't even feel the heat until you stop biking.
It is supposed to stay in the low 90's the rest of the week.

Anyway, I love you all and it is great out here.
Nothing super awesome has happened yet, unless you count finding name brand Pop Tarts at the Dollar Store.

Have a good week,

Elder Hyde

Saturday, April 27, 2013

You Should Always Tidy Up Before You Have Visitors

Keenan made a video tour of their apartment.  He is no John Hughes, but his cinematography is adequate for the task.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words

Keenan sent an SD card with 125 photos - no descriptions, no comments, just photos. We assume we are supposed to create captions to go with each of them.

I'll just stand here guarding my bike, and other things...

What do you know about the Mormons?
I'll show you how to teach with the spirit

I love the pretty flowers

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chance Meeting with Karen Lowe Hill


Valyn's cousin Karen lives in Loomis, about 5 miles from Keenan's apartment.  We got this email from her today:


I was coming home from baseball and saw 2 young boys in white shirts walking on the sidewalk. I slowed down to see if I would recognize on of them. I did!! I did 2 quick u-turns and drove up to them. I asked them if they knew who I was. One of them started to say no (with a weird look on his face). I pointed to him and said "you wouldn't know me" But the other cute young man said Yes I recognize you--You are my mom's cousin. I introduced myself to him--since he really doesn't know me!! We talked for just a few minutes. He looked great and very happy. My friends in the ward says he is very enthusiastic. I told him if he needs anything to let the Murphy's know (he is the Stake Pres. and in Rocklin 2 ward and our best friends) and they can get a hold of me. It was fun to see him!



If we are lucky, we may hear about it from Keenan.  His letters and emails are tidbits and snippets that we try to piece together into cohesive communication.  So far we have had little luck. 

There is a level of comfort knowing that Karen and Elaine (Karen's mom) are close.  I am also happy he recognized who she was!



Monday, April 15, 2013

Even though turkeys are fat ugly birds, God loves them

Excerpts from e-mails from Keenan


Last week Keenan sent us this photo without comment.  We asked for more information

Santa's Menacing StareThis is the view from our front door, and Santa is always reminding us to be good through his menacing stare.

Reassurance

This is a very safe area, a great place to start my mission. Apparently up in Chico/Paradise area, there is a lot of Gang activity and you are restricted to working where they allow you too. But you get a lot of baptisms up there, so there is a tradeoff. 

Evidently, this is one of the best places to live on earth. It kinda threw me off yesterday when the stake secretary said we have are up to 7% members in the city. It is a lot, just not compared to Utah County. 

The members love us here. There are about 250 active members in the ward, and they all want to feed us. Every single night we have dinner appointments.

...I was able to bear my testimony in church yesterday, and I feel that the ward trusts me a lot more now. 


Regarding his companion Elder Payne:

Elder Payne is great, although he snores a lot. Last night he talked in his sleep for the first time: "There are lots of people and Jesus. Mostly Jesus." He truly is a missionary, through and through.

Food and Bike Riding:

All the members out here are great cooks. We have been eating well, and I have gained ten pounds. Mostly in muscle it seems. My thighs are on fire all the time now. We bike an average of 15 miles everyday. Since I was reading these emails real time I asked if he was kidding about the weight gainI did gain all that weight. I don't know where it is though. I just know it is there.  Like I said, my thighs are constantly growing. 


Wildlife

There are a lot of mosquito hawks out here, so that is just like home. The bugs here only come out after dark, and we are in an appointment or back at the apartment by then anyway.
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Not taken by Keenan, but are in Rocklin

Elder Payne took me out a couple of nights ago to one of the parks out here. The parks here are very different from the ones at home. They are basically mini jungles with walking paths. 

Anyway, we went down by a creek in one of these parks. He told me to listen:

gobble gobble gobble

This is the place where all the turkeys nest at the end of the day. They are able to fly into the tops of the trees.

He showed me how to make a turkey call, and we spent ten minutes just talking to the turkeys while the sun set. Then he showed me how to make their mating call. They all went wild. 

After a while, they figured out we were humans and stopped talking to us. 

I got a greater appreciation of how God sees the world. Even though turkeys are these fat ugly birds, God loves them just as much as he loves me. 

Not sure how to take this :)

Seeing how some people are growing up, I am immensely grateful for how you raised me. You were not the best parents in the whole world, but you are insanely better than a lot of people out here. You raised me in a home with the Spirit, and that goes a long way. It is such a strange feeling going into a home without it.

Hint Hint

Our mailbox is about the size of a shoebox, so any packages smaller than that are okay to send to the apartment. 
Thank you so much for your letters. You should write to Elder Payne, he doesn't get any mail anymore.