Monday, May 27, 2013

Photos received from Keenan 05/27/2013

We received these photos from Keenan today in his email. He actually included descriptions!
Mikayla's Baptism with some of her missionaries
A Cool little place we found. 
Me With Some of the Mountford's Chickens

Elder Hyde.  Bounty Hunter.

My Wanted Poster at Chili Cookoff

Fun with Star Wars Toys

Bottle Brush Flower.  These are everywhere up here.  They are now my favorite flower. 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries from Crabtrees

Our Family Biography

It may not be Russia, but it is Warm. (Sorta)

Dear Everyone,

I just finished reading a letter from my friend David. His adventures in Russia are somewhat enviable, but also make me grateful for serving my mission in the Saratoga Springs of California. 

Today, it is raining. The second time since I got here. Thankfully, it is not as hard as the first time.

In other news, I had my first true baptisms on Saturday. I baptized Tyler Otis Allan, and then Elder Payne baptized Kerianne Hyacinth Allan. On Sunday, we switched for the confirmations. 

The Allan family has been inactive for several years now. Recently, Brother Allan almost died from acute hydrocephalus. Luckily, the ward stepped in and provided meals and blessings. Later that week, the Allans wanted us to teach their kids so they could get baptized. 
Tyler is Autistic, as well as having some other issues. He is accountable though, and it gave me a special experience being able to teach and baptize him. After the baptism, he kept telling us how much fun it was. He was also surprised that his temporary tatoos didn't come off. 

This has been a good week. I am so excited for next week. Love you guys!

- Elder Hyde

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tyler and Kerianne - More Information to Follow

At 2:00 I received a text from Brother Feller, the Ward Mission Leader in the Rocklin 2nd Ward.   It said:

Great Day.

This photo was attached.

Kerianne and Tyler Baptism
I am sure Keenan will provide more information when he sends an email on Monday.


Monday, May 20, 2013

My Companion is Solomon Grundy

Hello All,

At about four this morning I woke up to a strange noise. At first, I thought Elder Payne was taking a shower, then I realized he was puking. In fact, he puked so hard, he burst a blood vessel in his eye and gave himself two black eyes. He is very pale now, and looks like Solomon Grundy. This is somewhat ironic, considering that there is a running joke that he is Superman.

The biggest surprise of the week is that you guys GOT A DOG! I recall Mom saying that we are done with pets and will never get a dog. But apparently that has changed. You should send a video to me of this new family member. Where did you get him?

We picked up an amazing investigator this week. His name is Kris Conrad. He is about 50 and has done all sort of cool jobs. Mostly, he is a science teacher. He taught eskimos in Alaska and at a private school in Los Alamos. He already knows what the spirit feels like and wants to hold the priesthood eventually. He came to church with us yesterday, and very much enjoyed it. He spent the last hour with the high priests and "felt honored to feel of their spirit." His only concern was that the chapel was barren, but we were able to explain that. He really likes the paintings we have in the building.

There is a new greenie in the area named Elder Worthington. He is from Tooele. And no, he isn't related to Bro. Worthington or anybody with Kneader's. He is odd.

This week was very busy because of transfers. Three Elders stayed the night at our apartment on their way down to Antelope to pick up their trainees. That was probably the most exciting night so far. I laughed more than I have since I came out, which is a good thing.

All in all, life is good and there are no complaints. Have a good week!

Edit from family at home:

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Solomon Grundy is a DC Comics supervillian - enemy of Green Lantern, Batman and of course Superman.  

Elder Grundy

He is a zombie, inspired by the nursery rhyme:

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy

And here is a photo of Kush

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day Chat

On Mother’s Day, we had the chance to talk with Elder Keenan Hyde via Skype.

He is fat. Gained 20 pounds, he did. So I guess he really isn’t fat, he is where he should be weight wise.  He just needs to stop gaining weight or at a rate of ten pounds a month, he will gain 240 lbs!

As always, he couldn’t keep still the whole time. He kept running his fingers through his hair, drumming on the desk and you could tell that his legs were stomping, too.

We talked to him for 2½ hours. He told us loads of stories from his time out in the mission field.

It’s hard to believe he’s been out for 2 months and it’s hard to believe it’s only been 2 months.

He’s doing well and is really enjoying his time in Rocklin.

Keenan loves the area he’s serving in. The ward makes sure they are fed well (obviously from the weight gain).  He is being spoiled. He is serving in a first class ward.  If he is lucky he will be able to continue serving in supportive, active wards.  It makes the work much easier.  But likely he will end up serving in less active, less supportive wards.  It’s like being upgraded to first class on the first leg of a trip – you hope the upgrade follows your throughout the trip, but be prepared to be kicked back to coach, or worse.

Some of the experiences he shared:

A apartment/motel occupied completely by mental cases and drug addicts (sounds normal to me).  Two meth heads that live in the apartment telling Keenan and his companion they “were so cool”,  talking to them with respect because they are missionaries.  A guy talking to them while hanging out a third story window, as if nothing was more normal. The woman they were there to visit was trying to get her car to start by hooking and unhooking her battery cables over and over and over and over.  A guy came over to help her and one of the cables broke.  She freaked out blaming him for the problem.  Keenan and his companion chose that time as a good time to leave, as did the good samaritan.

A while back someone stole Keenan’s companion’s bike.  They have seen the guy and chased him down a few times, like Starsky and Hutch on bikes, but lost him.    The police now have a full description and are pursuing him. 

Keenan and another missionary were on exchanges when he felt they should go track out a little street before they went home.  They knocked on a door and a disheveled Asian guy answered.  When they asked if they could come in he gave a what-the-heck “sure”.  They talked with him for quite a while and have a follow up appointment with him.  He is from Vietnam and Catholic.  He told them when he came to the U.S.  he wanted to be Catholic, but no one would make him a Catholic.  Finally someone told him he had to take classes and pass tests.  He did and is now Catholic.  However, like most people of any religion, he has a lot of “non-catholic” views, such as premortal existence, eternal families etc.   It will be interesting to hear updates.

He met a guy with a peg leg.  The guy was running a yard sale.  They had a good long conversation with him.  Although he is Methodist, he also believes in major LDS teachings.  The guy lost his leg in an auto accident when a drunk hit him.  He didn’t sue the guy because it is more productive to focus on the good.  He has a pretty good attitude.  He said, if I break my ankle I go down to the shop and am back on my feet the next day.  If you break your ankle you are down in some way for six weeks or more.  For a living he buys the contents of storage units, donates them to charity – what he can’t donate he sells at yard sales.   That is why a $200 pair of binoculars cost his companion $20.

They have a hill in their area that is pretty much straight up.  Luckily they don’t usually have to peddle it.  When they need to go, they get a ride, which takes a few minutes.  Peddling up takes nearly an hour, having to stop half way and push.

So Keenan is happy, healthy and excited.  He is learning more every day, and become more a man, less a teenager.   

Here is the bit we recorded before I gave up because it wouldn't go full screen (I figured it out later).  Not sure why Keenan has the Ten Commandments voice in the recording.
(Forgive my crassness) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mikayla McGhie and Ken Dama

It was so nice to be able to Skype yesterday.
I forgot to tell you something about the culture here. Every kid has this thing called a Ken-Dama, or something like that. And I mean EVERY kid. It is like the ball in cup game, except harder. It is the new cool thing around here apparently.
I had my very first Baptism of the mission two days ago, even if it was her dad doing it. Her name is Mikayla McGhie. She has been taking the lessons for 20 months now, and she is 11. She had to wait so long, because she couldn't be baptized until she was officially adopted.
It was a good experience.
The first heat wave of summer hit this week, and most days were 90 degrees or so. So nice.
There are a lot of animals out here. Squirrels, snakes, lizards and like 40 different kinds of birds. THere are also lots of flowers all over the place. There is this really cool one called "bottle brush" or something like that. Pictures of that will be coming.
Sacrament meeting yesterday was a combined homecoming/mother's day focus, which resulted in some great talks about the effect of motherhood on missionary work.
Anyway, PDay is almost over, so I got to go. I love you all!
- Elder Hyde

For those interested, here is the Kendama of which he writes.  I say we all get one!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Things They Can Do Nowadays

The parents here.
We were at the Harvest Hills 4th Ward Progressive Dinner last night, we were discussing our missionaries with another missionary parent when a text came through.  It was this photo

with the message: "Enjoying dinner with your son and his companion.  Happy birthday to Elder Payne."

The message came from Brother Feller, their ward mission leader.

The message was sent to us and Elder Payne's parents simultaneously.

We responded:  "Thanks for sending this.  Tell Elder Payne happy birthday from us."

We then saw the response from Elder Payne's parents:  "Oh how fun!!! Tell him Happy Birthday tomorrow from us: thanks so much!! Was he surprised to see the cake?  Give him a hug from his mom :)

It is amazing that the communication is real time.  We haven't had a chance to miss Keenan since we hear about him from the people he serves with!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thrift Store Find

If he keeps it up he may be able to type by the time he is released
Somehow his signature has changed and his name is now Jamee Amber?

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Been a Good Week

Dear Mom and Dad and Family and Whoever Else Reads This,

This week has been a good week. Even though one investigator dropped
us, we still have 3 investigators who are on date for baptism.

On mother's day, I will be on Skype on 5pm your time. If it changes, I
will call that morning for a few minutes to tell you what time I will
be on.

Thank you for all your letters!

Speaking of letters, there is a very special one coming this week. You
will see what I mean soon.(Mysterious)

I ate dinner this week with some relative of Sis. Davis, the Elmonts. They are a great family and fed us very well. 
(Brother Elmont is Sister Davis' brother, so I guess he counts as 'some relative')
Elder Hyde and Elder Payne having dinner at the Elmonts, dressed casually due to service project

Hopefully you got the pictures from the Chili Cook Off that was on
Friday. Elder Payne and I were the judges, so we ate a little bit of
everything there. Most of the Chilis were good, but there were some
that I would rather not talk about (Maybe that is why he wasn't around when she took the photos)

The little goslings that are all over the place are beginning to grow.

As I am approaching the end of my first transfer, I realize that time
passes differently here. It is both eternal and incredibly short.
Every day feels like a week and every week feels like a day. It is an
odd feeling. (Transfer is a unit of time only valid in the mission field) 

Emily sent me a sweet tie in the mail this week. I think it was this
week anyway. Solid black and very classy.

Elder Payne's birthday is this Saturday, so that will be a lot of fun.
It is weird, but both of our Birthdays will be in this zone, with each
other. It is likely anyway. I don't think that happens often. (send Elder Payne Birthday Cards)

I love you all, and the work continues.

- Elder Hyde

P.S. I did get photos of the chili cook off, but I forgot my cord at the
apartment. I will send some as we Skype.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chili Cookoff


Hello Hyde Family,

My name is Brittney Crabtree, I live in Rocklin, CA and attend the Rocklin 2nd Ward.  Last night, we had our annual Ward Chili Cookoff.  I took a few pictures of the event and your son asked if I could send them onto you today.  We had the Elders and a few of our young men be the judges for the event.  Those boys put away a lot of chili and cornbread last night and we appreciated their help in deciding the victors.  We also had some line dancing instruction.  Our bishop is in the black shirt and shorts, dancing in one of the photos.  My oldest son is holding up one of the prizes we gave away last night.  Elder Hyde wasn't at the judges' table when I snapped the picture, but I took a couple with him in the shot with his camera.  Hopefully he will be able to send them onto you when he is able to email.  (of course he forgot his cord when he emailed)

We had Elder Hyde and Elder Payne over for lunch today and it was a delight to spend some time with them.  They played and talked with my 3 boys and helped clean up lunch as well.  :)  You have a wonderful son who is serving the Lord well here in Rocklin.  We hope to get to know him better as he continues to work and serve in our area.
Doug and Brittney Crabtree