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