Monday, December 22, 2014

Sketchy Hot Dog Cooker and I Heard The Bells on Harmonica

My new companion is awesome. We get along super well. He is a very tall fellow from Tooele. He worked at Macey's. He has been out as long as Sperry, so about 4 months. 

We had a Christmas Devotional in Nevada City, which is about an hour drive from Lincoln. I played "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" on my harmonica and it was pretty much the best performance there. Just saying. 

It was mostly music.

Elder Harris and I started the Onesie Cult. We are going to slowly initiate others. It's pretty much the most comfortable thing I have ever worn.

We made a super sketchy hot dog cooker. We cut the plug off of an old lamp, hooked it up to two forks and cooked stuff.
Screen capture from Christmas call showing Hot Dog Cooker. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Survived the Rainpocalypse and All I Got Was Wet

Transfers came. Elder Sperry is moving on the Antelope. I am getting Elder Christensen. He came out with Sperry, so he is a young missionary. I might him at the training meeting. He is very tall.

By the way, it was a five week transfer. They didn't want to transfer the week of Christmas.

We have our Christmas devotional on Thursday. I am playing the harmonica for a special number, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day?"  I am going to tell the story first.

We had a lot of rain on Thursday. It was supposed to shut down the state and drown it into oblivion, thereby ending all life west of Utah. As usual, it wasn't even bad. People overreact to everything. 

Our Ward mission leader was on the show "Shark Tank." He is the first guy on Season 2 Episode 6. He is an entrepreneur. Currently he deals in Camera Lucidas, Camera Obscuras and Zoetropes and the like. His website is He is cool.

We did service at a crazy Filipino lady's house this week. She has a bidet. Every inch of her walls are covered in interesting, intricate gobbledegook. Porcelain dolls, jade carvings, etc. She fed us well.

I am not look informed to biking in the rain in he coming weeks. Christmas should be nice though.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, December 8, 2014

This week felt like forever.

We are supposed to get 5-10 inches of rain on Thursday and Friday. Not looking forward to it. I hate rain.

We met a really cool Macedonian lady. Her name is Yvanka. She force fed me a gallon of cranberry juice and an egg. She is very nice. She came here to the United States when she was 16. She has read the Book of Mormon several times through. Evidently, several of the nurses she works with are LDS. 

As district leader, I had to deal with a missionary chatting up a teenage girl in our Ward. Told president, no word yet on when he will get transferred.

I am excited to be meeting at one next year. Twill be nice.

We had a special meeting with the head of proselyting and the head of technology from the mission department. Not many were invited. It was a training meeting. Mostly. Biggest things I learned:
     We are supposed to introduce ourselves as "your missionaries", people like it more.
     They taught us ways to use technology more effectively
     Emphasized daily study of Preach my Gospel
     Introduced "He is the Gift", talked about how to use it.

 It was fun, got to meet up with some old friends. 

Left to right, Sisters Reber and Hanninen, Elder Hyde, Elders McGuffey and Ewell.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving, Transformers and Tripoley

The members house we are emailing at are watching the old transformers cartoons. Pretty epic.

We had like five thanksgivings. Lots of rolls, mostly. We talked with some Iranians. They were jack Muslims, so they didn't really know anything.  The food was just normal, I was hoping for something interesting, but no luck.  She moved here when she was four. 

We have one kid on date. He is mostly silent, so we are hoping he actually understands stuff. We are pretty sure he does.

We are teaching a great family known as the Rodriguez'. He is the principal at the local elementary school. We spent Wednesday night over at their house. We played Tripoley for some time before we left. It's a game like poker, except with a lot more chips involved. Pretty fun. She was really concerned that we wouldn't be able to play, but I said it was just an old timers thing that we couldn't play cards. They have the whole table and chips and everything. It's a lot of fun. Tripoley is a huge win/loss game. You either get a lot of chips really fast, or you lose all of them.

We are an experimental Ward with I am not exactly sure what that means, since it is already up and running. Y'all should sign up for that. It's really cool. It's a site the church has set up for service. It is designed to promote interfaith work. The test missions that used it don't proselyte anymore, they just teach.

I have decided I want a ball python when I get home. Elder Sperry has told me all about them. They seem awesome.

The other elders that live in the complex are a lot of fun. We hang out a lot.

This is a good area to go home from. The members are great. We meet at 2:30 in the afternoon, which I like. It is really good for missionary work. It gives us an opportunity to meet with people and bring them to church.

I wish Lincoln had more to it. Walmart and Target are basically the only places to shop. Which is annoying.

I have started teaching the other Elders around here how to play the harmonica. It's becoming quite the thing.

It's starting to rain a lot and I hate it. Even though the state needs it, I hate biking in it.

Elder Sperry and Elder Hyde

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Ward Split

I have only been here a week, and they split the ward. Instead of meeting in a building nearly thirty minutes from where we live, we know meet two blocks down. At 2:30 instead of 9:00.

I also got a sweet inflatable chair from a member. It is Cartoon Network themed. It is pretty sweet.

I got massively sick a couple days ago. I have slept a total of twenty hours over the past couple says. It felt really nice.

I am emailing at a members house. They are on vacation, so they are letting us use their house for laundry and lunch etc. There is a frozen pizza in the oven and life is good.

We get to spend Thanksgiving with our Ward mission leader and his wife's family. She is Iranian. Should be interesting to see what an Iranian Thanksgiving is like.

For Christmas, all I want is money. I have too much crap. The only thing I can think of is an electric razor. That would be nice.

Vielstich isn't liking his new companion as much as me. Rosenbaum is really disobedient, but is trying to act like he never has been.

Sperry and I get along very well. I have had three awesome companions in a row, so I think my last one Is going to be a huge tool. We will have to see.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, November 17, 2014

Totally Flat Haven for Peacocks

It is a lot warmer here than in Utah, still in the sixties. Feels like a lot less than that when you are biking though. I forgot how tiring it is to be in a bike area. I am eating a lot more and I am lots more tired. 

Lincoln is easy to get lost in. All the neighborhoods look the same, and the streets cut back on themselves all over the place. And it is totally flat. 

There are wild peacocks all over the place in our apartment complex. We are going to catch one. 

Elder Sperry is great. We get along really well. He is a lot like Dallin.

This will be my last area, almost for certain. There is a lot of work here though, so it will be engaging. We have a few baptisms lined up. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

About Lincoln California

A Brief History of Lincoln
Ba-Mu-Ma, a major Indian village, was the first known settlement in the present Lincoln area. The inhabitants were the Nisenan (also "Nishinam"), a branch of the Maidu Indians, who had been in the area for more than 5000 years.
By 1822 Spanish explorers, followed by fur trappers, penetrated the area. In the 1840's other Europeans were beginning to emigrate from the eastern U.S., and the first farms and ranches were started. White man's diseases, land appropriation, and violence soon brought an end to the Indian civilization here.
The gold rush hastened the influx of Europeans. By 1858 there were 10 towns within seven miles of what is now Lincoln. Nine of these were relatively short-lived mining towns; the other was Sheridan, which still exists seven miles to the north.
In 1859 the village of Lincoln was born. It was to be the temporary terminus of California's first railroad, the California Central, which had been completed to Folsom in 1856. The president of the railroad was Charles Lincoln Wilson, whose middle name became the name of the new town. The railroad finally arrived in October of 1861. Businesses were quickly established as merchants and others moved into Lincoln from the surrounding towns and mining camps. The new town soon became the transportation and trading focus of Western Placer County.
Industry had a much slower start, but in 1873 coal was discovered and became of some commercial importance. The mining of coal revealed layers of very high quality clay, and in 1875 the Gladding, McBean Co. pottery was founded. The production of clay products has been the town's leading industry for over 135 years.
In 1890 Lincoln was incorporated, and town government was born. In the same year the Lincoln News Messenger became the town's first permanent newspaper and is still being printed today. from

About Lincoln

The city of Lincoln, California, rests at the base of the Sierra Foothills in picturesque Placer Valley with the cities of Roseville, Rocklin, Loomis, and Newcastle located nearby.
Situated on Hwy 65, Lincoln is approximately 30 miles northeast of the capital of California, Sacramento, and 30 miles southeast of Marysville. Traveling on Interstate 80, Lincoln is only 114 miles from Reno, and 115 miles east of San Francisco.
As a result of the City’s 2002 strategic plan (City of Lincoln Strategic Action Plan, May 2002) new office buildings, shopping centers, housing developments and custom home properties can be seen all around the Lincoln area. A city with an Art & Culture Foundation; an active Volunteer Center; community events; shopping; recreation; good schools; a new library in the works; private country club and championship golf courses; a regional airport and more, Lincoln has a lot to offer!
In concert with its strategic growth plan, the City intends to maintain the small town charm and character of its historic downtown.

Lincoln History

It wasn’t too long ago that the population of the quiet little city of Lincoln, resting at the base of the foothills of the Sierras in lower Placer County, California, was a little over 17,000. But in early 2006, Lincoln’s population reached over 33,000 reflecting the City’s march forward on its “smart growth” plan.
Lincoln was named after Charles Lincoln Wilson, a transportation executive and the builder of the California Central Railroad. The first settlement in Lincoln was made in 1859 by John Chapman, G. Gray, John Ziegenbein, and E. A. Gibson. In 1862 and 1863, Lincoln became very pros¬perous and had a population between 400-and 500.
Lincoln is the home of one of Placer County’s oldest businesses, the Gladding McBean terra cotta clay manufacturing plant, established in 1875, after Chicago resident Charles Gladding learned of a very large layer of clay near Lincoln. The plant is still in operation manufacturing primarily clay pipe used for city infrastructure.

Historic Downtown Lincoln

The Historic Downtown District stretches from First Street to Seventh Street between G and E Streets, and is renowned for its friendly merchants and small-town charm. With charming buildings and new businesses popping up all the time, be sure to make it a habit to come to Historic Downtown Lincoln.
See also our Community page for more information about the Lincoln community!

Letter from Elder Vielstich

Letter received November 15th 2014 from Elder Vielstich

Monday, November 10, 2014

Transferred to Lincoln 6th Ward

I got transferred to the Lincoln Sixth Ward to be with Elder Sperry. Elder Sperry came out with Elder Vielstich, so I am his Follow Up Trainer. I am also District Leader.

I will be back in a bike area now.

This letter is short because I have a lot of stuff to do today. I love you guys.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The United Order and Halloween

This week went pretty well. Autumn weather is starting to set in. It feels nice. 

We had stake conference this week. Elder D. Zachary Smith of the seventy came. He grew up in the Auburn Stake, interestingly enough. There were people in the audience that he personally converted.

Noah (Catholic, watchmaker, radio guy) was able to come to the adult session. He loved it. It all went well, until a guy started talking about the United Order. Elder Admin was calling on people in the audience to share their conversion experience, and this one guy kept going on and on. 

We also did what is called a Zone Blitz. It's when everyone in the whole zone works in one area for a day. Grass Valley Ward was the lucky Ward. It was strange working in someone else's area. We got lost a lot.

  Halloween was weird. On the 31st we had to be in by six, so we didn't do a whole lot. We went to the ward trunk or treat though. It was fun. For the trunk or treat we went as each other. Vielstich was me, I was Ewell, Ewell was McGuffey and McGuffey was Vielstich. It was exciting.

The guy in the blue tie is Vielstich.  He was being a freak because he was acting like me.
Elder Hyde (as Elder Ewell), Elder McGuffey (as Elder Vielstich), Elder Vielstich (as Elder Hyde), Elder Ewell (as Elder McGuffey)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Auburn Shoot Out, Pretty Sweet

The whole shoot out thing was even more exciting than it seems. 2 arrested in slayings of Northern California deputies | Local News - KCRA Home We were weekly planning at the church when it happened, which is a block away. So we were stuck in the church building for a few hours. Then, on the way out, the cops searched our car with an M16 to make sure no one was in there but us. It was pretty sweet. 

 On the other side, we have a couple solid investigators in Foresthill now. They haven't had that in over a year.

- Elder Hyde

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Insomnia and William Burnett

Things are going okay. We had a terrible week for numbers. I had the worst night of insomnia ever. I didn't sleep at all last night. It's a good thing today is PDAY. 

I may be sending a box home with the Foresthill mission leader. He would be leaving Friday and be in Salt Lake or Cabelas on Saturday.

I agree wih Bro. Burnett. There needs to be some kind of disaster here. Also tell him that something I learned from him has helped a few investigators. He taught me that the reason we can't pick our wards is because it is like a family. We don't get to pick our families either. It resonates well with investigators who are used to hopping around.

Cy still hasn't decided if the church is racist or not. We should find out this week. I found some FAIRMormon stuff on it that I think will be helpful. I've learned a lot, if nothing else. I will send them to you if I get a chance. 

All this difficult stuff hasn't really caught me by surprise. The Lord was prepping me for something a few weeks ago, and I think this is the beginning of it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bruce C. Hafen and Burning Weed

It has rained really well the past couple of days, especially up near the fire. I'm pretty sure they have it under control now. Got almost 100,000 acres though. Ironically, up north the city of Weed burned up. About two thirds of it. 

I had a profound insight on Sunday. One of the brothers in this ward shared something great. "Knowing myself as well as I do, I wouldn't do the atonement even for myself." That is very true. So the fact that Jesus did it for me as well as everybody else just adds new depth to my understanding.

Also this week, I discovered the writings of Bruce C. Hafen. I love the stuff that guy writes. I wish there was more. I want to dig back and get all of his devotionals from Ricks college. Something I particularly like: 

The purpose of our existence here is to have an opportunity to develop the skills, the capacities, that are necessary for us to live in the celestial kingdom. When my nine-year-old boy says he wants to drive the car, I must explain to him that if he goes out onto the freeway, he is going to be dangerous—he might kill himself and a lot of other people as well. He does not yet have the capacity to use the freedom offered by a freeway.
Until I can help him develop that capacity—the skill, the judgment, the maturity—going out there freely will kill him. The same would be true of our premature introduction to the freedom—and the responsibility—of living in a kingdom governed by celestial laws.
The assumption of responsibility can be liberating or crushing, depending upon one’s preparation to receive it.

I like how he teaches that the Celestial Kingdom is a lifestyle, and we would kill ourselves if went prematurely.

Monday, September 22, 2014

85000 Acres of Broken Dreams

So, the giant fire has been raining ash upon our repentant souls.
Turns out the fire was started by some homeless guy. They set his bail
at 10,000,000. I think it is interesting that there are only a couple
things that can get you that high of a bail: murdering scores of
people and starting a forest fire.

We were going to go on a hike today, but Foresthill has about twice as
much ash as Auburn, so visibility is about ten feet. We don't want
black lung, so we are staying in Auburn.

The work seems to be dying here in Auburn. Our numbers have been going down.

Elder Vielstich and I get along amazingly. We know each other's
favorite obscure bands. I am having deep conversations about religious
and political philosophy. It is nice.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, September 8, 2014

Harry, Habbukkuk and a Dash of Tchaikovsky

A lot of Harry Nilsson music has been stuck in my head this week. "One," "Sleep Late My Lady Friend," "Without Her," and, of course, "Don't Leave Me Baby." 

We have done a lot of driving around, as a lot of people are still not home. We weren't able to meet with any investigators again, but we did meet with a few less actives.

We did exchanges this week with the Colfax elders. Elder McGuffey is from Georgia and he is hilarious.

Other than that not a whole lot happened this week. Although I feel the need to share more.

I was reading in Habbukkuk yesterday, and I realized that Habbukkuk explicitly says that the second coming is going to take a lot longer than anyone expected. So I don't know why people are surprised.

Vielstich and I discovered a mutual love and appreciation for Tchaikovsky. I mean, String Quartet #1, Andante Cantabile is one of the best pieces of music I have ever heard. Not to forget the "Liturgy of St. Chrysostom." The contrast of a rock bottom bass and a falsetto tenor is ever to be appreciated. "Romeo and Juliet" ain't bad either. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Was a Toilet Frog Once

This week has been terribly unproductive because fully half of it was
spent in meetings. It was worth it though, as I am now training.( This is his new companion, Elder Vielstich. People tell them they look alike. He has a radio voice.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spot the Sarcasm Game

This week has been strange. We were up in Foresthill for church this
week, and we got two inactives to church. We had to go and get one
from his house, but he appreciated it by the end of church.

The branch is interesting. If everyone came who was on the records,
they would be a big ward. But they have about 75 percent inactive.

Transfers were last night. Van Kammen is being shipped off to Palo
Cedro, which is basically the only place more isolated than here. The
members we live with said that it is the back door to hell, because it
gets so hot up there.

I have been assigned as a trainer. I pick up the new guy on Wednesday.
I feel there was a glitch in the system, but hey. Might as well run
with it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gothic Font and Meth Addicts

Yesterday was an extra effective day. There is a less active family
that we have been working with without much success for a long while.
When we spoke with them yesterday, he shared his feelings about why he
isn't coming to church. He feels out of place at church, and he feels
he isn't worthy to receive a confirmation that the church is true. He
has been a member since 1961, so he has been holding this in for a
while. We taught him about the Atonement and how we are all worthy to
receive that confirmation. We also told him that even fully active
members feel out do place at church sometimes,

After that we went and saw Annie, a long term investigator who is
busier than all get out. It is hard to find times to meet with her.
She is in her late forties, and just found out her daughter is back on
meth. Except this time, Annie's daughter took her daughter with her.
Annie's granddaughter is only two years old, and is now living with a
meth addict prostitute in an unknown location. She wanted to know why
wicked, evil things are allowed to happen to two year olds. We
explained about agency, and also shared Alma chapter 14 with her. This
is the story where Alma and Amulek are forced to watch the righteous
women and children burn. She began to have an understanding of why
these things happen. It is one of the hardest parts about faith to
allow these things to be in Gods hands.

In other news, we went 600 miles over our driving limit last month, so
we decided to make it up to the Car Missionaries by sending this.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Like a Possum in Heat (The Heat, That Is)

This week was rather eventful. On the way to District Meeting Tuesday,
we found a dead possum on the side of the road. So, the only logical
thing to do was put in a box and then put it in the Stake Center
freezer for the sisters to find.

Once that bit of fun was over, they made us go and throw it away. So
instead, we put it in the District Leaders car.

Feeling quite proud of ourselves, we went on our way. We stopped at a
priests house so that he could come out with us. He asked what was on
the front of our car. Somehow, the other Missionaries had tied the
possum to the front of our car without us noticing. We had driven half
an hour down the freeway and through a residential neighborhood with a
rotting carcass attached to our grill. Pretty awesome.

We had some pretty awesome lessons this week. We have been doing a lot
better about getting members to lessons.

We had another lesson with Cy; it lasted two hours. He had some pretty
intense questions. He never understood the trinity, so we explained
the godhead to him.

We did service for the Schweigs, a part member family. It took nine or
ten hours. We were helping him put a pool liner in as well as a deck.
It took us quite a while to get the pool liner set up, and then when
we started filling it with water, it broke. Turns out you can't use
old pool liners.

I also got to go on exchanges to Colfax this week. We did service up
there too. Elder Ewell and I got to chase a couple of bunnies around
an eighteen inch crawl space full of dust and rabbit poop. Not to
mention it was probably 110 degrees under there. We tried for a couple
hours, and we still didn't get the bunnies. We were hacking up dust
all day.

Auburn is such a beautiful place.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Perfection of a Watch and the Ignorance of a Few

So lately we have been working on finding people to work with, so we
have been wading through all of the old records in the Area Book. We
found the most interesting guy ever. He was a former investigator from
about a year ago. I actually knew the missionary that taught him, so I
called him up and got all the information. When we went over there, it
was even better than I had imagined.

His nameis Noah, and he is a watchmaker. And a lawyer. And a teacher.
And a charter school owner. And a Mercedes mechanic. This guy likes to
tinker, especially with theology. He studied out religions deeply a
while back, including atheism, and he came to the conclusion that
there are only two options: Catholics and Mormons. Currently he is
catholic, but we will change that.

My favorite aspect of Noah is his watchmaking. He answered the door in
a lab coat and invited us to see his workshop. He restores and repairs
old watches. He studied in Switzerland. He gave an hour lecture on
watches and time keeping machinery. Very cool. This is one of the
watches he built:

Monday, July 21, 2014

We had some good success this week.

We taught a fantastic lesson to our only progressing investigators. We
taught them about Zener 12, and how the Brother of Jared moved the
mountain by faith. We all have our mountains that need to be removed,
and they can be removed instantly, if we have the faith. It was a good

We went to the tallest bridge in California today. It is on the way to
Foresthill. It is 730 feet high.

Our apartment is great. I have a mini fridge right next to my desk.
Currently it is full of Peachee and RC Cola. Good stuff.

Elder Van Kammen is my favorite companion. We get along well, we teach
well together.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, July 14, 2014

Germanic Miracles and the Jesus Lotion Collectors Set

We got to meet our new mission president this week. He is an amazing guy.

He and his twin sister were born in Germany in 1954. His parents were
living in a refugee camp at the time. His parents already had a few
kids to take care of, and hey weren't sure how they were going to be
able to support two more.

Meanwhile, at the American military base, here was a couple who had
been trying to have kids for years but were unable to. They decided
they would adopt some 8 to 10 year old children out of war torn
Germany. They read about an orphanage a few miles from the base.

On the way there, they took a wrong turn and ended up at the refugee
camp. They asked the coordinator if there were any children to adopt.
He explained that it wasn't really that kind of place. But then he
remembered a family to which twins were recently born. The mother had
decided it would be best if her babies grew up elsewhere. The
coordinator asked if they were interested, and they were.

So a war beaten family, a sorrowful mother, gave her newborn twins to
an American mother, who she knew could give them a better shot at

The Americans just happened to be Mormon.

President Marston then spoke about how important it is to listen to
the spirit. He is grateful that both of his mothers were listening to
the spirit so that he could be were he is.

Later in life, he married and had four daughters. He was called to be
the bishop of his ward, and life was perfect. Unexpectedly, his wife
had a massive heart attack and died, leaving him alone as a bishop
with four young girls.

The stake president spoke to him, and told him they were going to
release him, so he could take care of his family. The stake president
returned. Couple weeks later and said that they could not receive
inspiration on who should be the new bishop. They had a stupor of
thought. President Marston was bishop for another ten months.

He taught us how serving others allows us to overcome our own sorrows.

A year or so later, he met his current wife. He said that they never
really went on dates, she just came and helped him do laundry, take
care of the girls, etc. They got married and had two more girls and a

He is missing his youngest daughters wedding to be on a mission.

He is a fantastic guy. Really swell.

This week has been tough. We have been trying hard to build up our
teaching pool.

I figured out how to play "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da" by the Beatles on my
harmonica. So that is good news.

It is supposed to be 106 degrees today. I am enjoying it.

A lady in our ward does doTERRA, and we narrowly avoided being a part
of a doTERRA party. But she did give us frankincense samples. It
smells really good. She says it can cure cancer, but somehow I don't
think so. I also want a myrrh sample, so I can have the full Jesus
Lotion collectors set, but apparently myrrh is freakishly expensive.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thomas Kinkade, Craps, and IPads

We had the most amazing Tracting day yesterday. We went out in the
evening and almost everybody was home and nice. We picked up three
investigators. Three! That's like thirty times the average for how
many houses we did.

A member also gave us an investigator who is super solid. His name is
Cy. He played football for Kansas State. He currently goes to Bayside,
but it doesn't seem that he has been antied yet. Which is good.

I learned this week that Thomas Kinkade did a painting of Auburn. It's
called "Main Street Courthouse." It's of Old Town Auburn. Apparently
he lived in Placerville for a while.

Transfers came and went, with no changes that affected us.
Understandable, since the new President has only been here a week. We
get to meet him on Thursday.

The Fourth of July was a lot of fun. We started the morning in Auburn
at the ward breakfast. Our new investigator came to that, which was
good. Then we went up to Foresthill for the rest of e day, because
most of the city was on Main Street for the fair. The museum was open,
so we learned a lot about Foresthill. Most of the people didn't know
Mormons were in the city. We were able to clear that up.

Then we went to an inactive members house. They had family over, but
they let us in anyway. He bought a new Craps table. But interestingly
enough, we talked a lot about missionary stuff. They had a lot of
questions. I never thought I would have a spiritual discussion while
people were drinking and gambling.

I was able to answer a question I have had for a long time. I have
wondered who made the iPad sale to the church, because I thought they
should get a big raise. Turns out, Sister Dever in our ward was the
one who made the sale. And trust me, her house proves it. Needless to
say, they have every Apple product imaginable.

Speaking of iPads, the church just announced that iPads will be
standard in USA, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe. Missionaries will
pay four hundred dollars for an iPad, and then get to keep it. Which
means, our mission got free iPads! Yay! We are the only round of
missionaries this will happen to.

On a more spiritual note, I listened to every Paul H. Dunn talk he
ever did in general conference. He has great stories. You should go
and read them.

I also came across an amazing article by Bruce C. Hafen that I want
all of you to read. It is called "The Waning of Belonging," in the
October 1989 Ensign. It is great.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 30, 2014

Out of Work Blues

We have officially run out of work to do. So we developed a family
mission plan pamphlet to do with the members, so they will get work
for us to do. We are pretty proud of it.

A member gave us a new investigator yesterday. And we found that guy
last week while Tracting. So hopefully the work is picking up.

We met a member yesterday who has two Hohner tremolos from the
twenties. Very cool. They sounded really good for being almost a
hundred years old.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Heroin and the Serenity Prayer

The most exciting thing that happened this week:

We have been tracting a lot lately, because we have run out of work.
We were walking down the street and saw this lady lying down in the
gutter. She looked like she was just sunbathing, but when we said
hello to her, it took her fifteen seconds to respond. She was talking
really slow and she slurred her words a lot. We were going to walk
off, but then her sister came out and started talking to us. We were
having a great discussion, but her drugged out sister kept yelling at
us. They wouldn't believe that we are out here of our own free will.
It was weird. The one girl was on something other than alcohol. It
seemed like heroin or something similar. She was freaky. They wouldn't
let us leave until we read the serenity prayer with them.

But among all the tracting, we finally found someone. His name is Ed,
and he wants a Book of Mormon. He seemed really interested by the idea
of prophets being on the earth again.

Since we are out of work, we are developing a mission workbook for the
members to go through so that they can find work for us to do. Trying
to get members to cooperate is the hardest part of missionary work.

We get our new Mission President four days before transfers. So
hopefully transfers work out okay. There are so many rumors going
around the stake about sister missionaries and area divisions. Who
knows what will happen.

Our washer broke, and it won't drain. Or spin. So I have been wringing
out my clothes before I can put them in the dryer.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spaghetti Banana Split with a Ladle

This photo of Elder Hyde is from a text message received from Aubrie Bragg, a ward member. 
We were lucky enough to attend the Elders Quorum activity on Friday.
The surprise was that we had to eat a full spaghetti dinner with
non-traditional implements. For example, I was drinking out of a
pitcher, eating out of a banana split bowl, and eating with a ladle.
Another guy in the ward was eating out of a cookie jar with tongs. Fun

We are beginning a new program in our ward to help members do
missionary work. It works in three phases and by the end they should
have their own mission plan. We are making a workbook pamphlet thing
for it. Hopefully it will be done by next week so I can send the file
to all of you.

Auburn is extremely wealthy. Some of the members have the nicest
houses I have ever seen. There are several doctors in the ward, as
well as business owners. On top of that, all of the houses are far
apart. This makes Auburn a hard place to proselyte. Which is why we
are starting the member missionary work thing.

The Colfax elders broke their car so it won't go in reverse. We are
their shuttle while their car is in the shop, at least on PDays.

Here seem to be a lot more grumpy less actives here in Auburn. It's
probably because people move here to hide.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 9, 2014

Of Bike Rides and Richard Dawkins

We went on a bike ride this morning. We biked this trail in between Foresthill and Auburn. Lots of hills. The downhill parts were fun. We hit probably 40 mph coming down the hill back to the car. It was sweet.

Although I was supposed to get a new iPad this week, the Sister in charge hasn't been in the office for a week. So. 

Yesterday we taught a former investigator. He was in the area book as "an atheist high school student." But now, he is an atheist college student. We talked a lot of ideas. He is a big follower of Richard Dawkins. He also taught us about the topical applications of marijuana. Nice kid though.

This ward has a lot of less-active work. Part of that is that so many parts of the ward are isolated. Some families live 45 minutes out in the sticks. It is hard to find investigators here, because of how spread out it is. 

One of the families we are teaching went inactive a couple years ago after they lost a baby. He has shut himself off from a lot of emotions. We have been teaching them, and they have been coming back to church. Their wounds are healing. 

I like this ward a lot. The members are excellent. 

Elder Van Kammen is an excellent missionary. He understands how the work progresses. He his highly motivated and task oriented. 

I found a jaw harp in an antique store in Colfax. It is the perfect instrument to describe this area. 

There are a lot of frogs here. Big ones, too. Most are about the size of a fist. 

The members we live with have these huge, fat, chocolate labs. They are so fat they can't even jump. They try, but only get 3 inches off the ground. We are in charge of feeding them for a while, because the Nielsons are on a church history tour out east.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, June 2, 2014

Auburn: Gateway to the Sierras

Auburn is fantastic.

I feel like I am up in the Uintahs. There are so many trees, so many deer. We cover part of Auburn, and the small cities of Ophir, Newcastle, and Foresthill. 

We live with members who own a mansion. Most people here own at least an acre. There are some massive houses around. Huge, three story castles on top of hills. But there are also those small little cabins that have been around forever, as well as the token trailer park. 

This is the view from one of the members front porch. This was a bad day with smog.

Forest Hill is a little tiny town that is half an hour away from our house, so we only go up there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There are a lot of deer that roam around up there. 

The second tallest bridge in California is in our area. Apparently Vin Deisel drove a truck off it in some movie. 

Newcastle is a small, old mining town. Some members live in a house from 1898.

Ophir has a population of 100 or so. It's not very interesting. Very pretty though.

We drive about 70 miles a day in our little Chevy Colorado. This place reminds me of a more rural bountiful. There are a lot of cows, goats, horses, and chickens up here. It is so peaceful.

The members we live with live in a mountain mansion. They have 50 chickens that we feed and collect the eggs from. The eggs taste so much better. I made German Pancakes with them and they were to die for. Crazy good stuff. I am going to make egg salad now.

Elder Van Kammen is a great missionary. Very focused. Teaches well.

Van Kammen and I got lost trying to find this ladies house. We ended up driving around on this sketchy mountain road. We finally found the house. She lives so deep in the mountain that they run everything off of a generator and they have to pump all their water. Fantastic view though. Very quiet. 

We taught a guy in the Placer County Jail this week. He is excommunicated, so we needed President's permission to continue teaching him, and then we discovered we aren't allowed to teach incarcerated people. So all those times in Marysville weren't kosher. 

Today for PDay we are going up to the Biggs place, which is 10 acres of fun. Massive zipline, ewok village, hay bale maze, all the fun stuff. Next week we are going golfing with the bishop.

I have a feeling I am going to have to watch my weight. Combined with not biking, all the members here make amazing food, since all the ingredients come from here. Real sugar, flour, eggs, honey, fruits, and vegetables. Everything tastes so good.

Things seem much more structured here. Unfortunately, we don't have very many investigators. We will have to work on finding more in these little underpopulated towns. 

- Elder Hyde

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tragedies and Transfers

This has been a week of tragedy, yet also of success. One of our solid investigators was drunk for the entire first part of the week. Her husband is in wheelchair so he couldn't do a whole lot. We were able to help him get a gun safe so she doesn't do anything stupid.

We also met a lady at Ellis Lake who had walked from Yuba City, about 8 miles. Her husband confessed he was cheating on her. So she starting walking so that she wouldn't kill him. We were able to buy her a large Sprite to make her feel better though.

We picked up two new investigators, a young unmarried couple. They are both Catholic and come from active families. But she is pregnant. So they are afraid. We are teaching them now. 

We finally finished moving into our new apartment, just in time for transfers. 

I have been transferred to the Auburn 3rd ward. My new address is 2800 Shirland Tract, Auburn CA 95603. It's not just a car area, it's a TRUCK area. It's like the Gridley ward, in the sense that we cover part of Auburn and then a whole little town. Lots of trees and farmland. 

My new companion is Elder Van Kammen, and he has been out just one transfer less than me.

I am going to miss Marysville. It's probably the best place I've been so far. Lots of cool stuff happened here. But Auburn is promising. There is scenery. There are a lot of members. Should be good.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gallon Bag of Pamphlets

Sister Warren gave me a gallon bag of old church pamphlets from the fifties and sixties. Extremely interesting stuff.

We baptized Lilian Hendrix Saturday. But she got the stomach flu, so she hasn't been confirmed yet. Her Filipino step-mom is a fantastic cook and she prepared us a magnificent feast of egg rolls, teriyaki beef, etc. Wonderful.

We got two referrals to miraculously replace the two investigators we just baptized. Hopefully they pan out.

We had an amazing lesson with Russell and Sophia. They have been going through marital difficulties as well as health difficulties. When we arrived at their house, they weren't talking to each other or anything. So we divided and conquered. We talked to them each separately, and then taught them how to pray. They both offered the most sincere prayers I have ever heard in my life. They finally understood the power of the Spirit, because he was there. They came to church yesterday and enjoyed themselves immensely.

We had zone conference this week, and our singing went well. We are working on getting a recording of it to share with you guys.

Transfers are next Sunday. I think I will be leaving. 

Gillies almost got bike jacked. Kinda. This kid tried to take it, but he was tweaking out. He was half the size of Gillies. Crazy people.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, May 12, 2014

Of Drunks and Corduroy Happiness

SO, interesting thing happened Saturday night. Gillies and I were biking home past a couple of bars, and we got stopped by a gaggle of drunk women, mid- to late thirties. They took an unholy amount of "selfies" with us before they let us go. They even asked Gillies to take his clothes off because he looks like Channing Tatum.

I found out I won't be able to email consistently. The overprotective idiotic and ignorant family history center biddies have banished missionaries. Coupled with not having an iPad, I will be limited. Apparently someone left the door unlocked. As if there is anything worth stealing in there. So many criminals are stealing twelve year old, barely functioning computers these days. And large, unwieldy tomes on the inhabitants of Oxfordshire from 1800 to 1850. They especially fight through two locked doors to get the one door that is unlocked. Because the five dollars they could sell the computer and the books for is worth it. I guess I will have to find a public library or something.

I found a corduroy hackey sack at Zumiez today. Never been in that store before, probably never will again. What I could see through the variety of skateboard decks implied a weed smoking, laid back, irresponsible lifestyle. Cool hackey sack though. I will be practicing for the next eleven months, so hopefully I will get pretty good.

A few other missionaries and I get to sing at zone conference on Thursday. It is the song "Hallelujah", but with Jesus lyrics. I am pretty sure someone is recording it, so you will get to see it.

We baptized Breezin Brick on Saturday. It was a great service. I will send pictures. She is an eleven year old girl. The only reason she wasn't baptized before was because her Dad hates Mormonism. But, her Mom has eighty percent custody, so too bad for him.

Elder Keenan Hyde and Elder Gillies - New Haircuts (Katrina Brooks)

- Elder Hyde

Monday, May 5, 2014

Pompadours for Jesus

There was a car show/rib cook off in downtown Marysville this week. Gillies and I went, and a member bought us a lot of food. I am here pictured with a '57 Bel Air Wagon, which is my new favorite car.

You will also notice, I got a somewhat less-conservative pompadour than last time. In fact, all four of us in Marysville Ward got one. (Mine looks the best.) We got them at this place called "Upper Cuts," which is basically the most gangster hair cut place in the world. The have a pool table and big TV's and speakers, they all have tatoos and piercings. They are good at what they do though.

A few weeks ago, some random guy pulled up to us and took a picture of me, then drove off. I finally figured out why this week. There is a kid in our ward named Dallin, and his friends asked him if he knew a kid named Tyler. "He rides around Marysville a lot on a bike. Like, almost everyday." Apparently some girls from Yuba High wanted to know about him. So Dallin's friend took a picture and showed him, asking if he knew "Tyler." Turns out, I'm "Tyler." No idea where they got the name from. Very strange. But funny.

The other missionaries in the ward challenged some high school kids to a game of basketball, which, if they won, would require the kids to go to church. But the Elders lost. I am pretty sure that the kids were praying to win, which is kind of ironic. 

We are moving apartments in a week or so. Same complex, different apartment. So my address will be the same, except we will be in apartment #72 after May 10th. So any mail to arrive that day or later should have apartment #72 on it. We are moving because our current apartment has been lived in by missionaries for six years now, and is basically trashed. I'm just hoping it doesn't get condemned when we move out. 

Crazy hobo story: We were sitting at the park and this guy comes up to us. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, and it really is. He asks what time it is, and we tell him. "Good, good. I still have time." He looked around shiftily. "I'm on my way to becoming famous. Really famous. World famous."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. See, I'm a musical genius. You ever heard of Foreigner?"


"I'm better. Especially on the vocals."

"Uh, cool deal man."

"Yeah, I'm just on my way to Redding to meet up with the rest of the band. Gonna catch a Greyhound."

"Cool. Good luck."

He started walking away in the haphazard manner of a mad man. But then he looked back.

"But wait! I am also a military genius! They're looking at promoting me to Captain of the American Navy soon. Probably the smartest guy in the world. I'm a musical genius, and a military genius, and a business genius, and and top of all of that I AM A PROPHET OF THE MOST HIGH!!"

"Um, okay. Cool."


Very interesting things here in Marysville. 

- Elder Hyde

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Guardian Angel of Marysville

This angel sits in the upstairs window of a store on "D" street. D Street used to be the main street, because it ended with a dock into the Yuba River where all the Gold Rush people came through. Now half the lots are abandoned. 

It has been another exciting week in Marysville. Elder Gillies continues to have bike trouble, he has been on his bike only a couple weeks out of the whole time he has been here. This week it is flat tubes that won't patch. 

Almost all of our appointments fell through this week.

The heat is starting to pick up. It is weird having come full circle with the seasons in California.

We went to a place called the Mary Aron Museum. It is one of the oldest houses in Marysville. It was built by an architect to be a model home for people looking to move into the city. They had a lot of old stuff from the original town, and I discovered a man by the name of Hyde was among the original pioneers of Marysville.

There was a Stake service project to clean up Ellis Lake on Saturday. It was much needed, as the ducklings were swimming around in little piles of trash. We trimmed all the trees and got the trash out of the water, as well as weeding and edging and all of that kind of stuff. It was fun. Gillies and Clayburn found a pink scooter buried under a bush and were playing around with it. 

One of our less active members came to us and told us that she hasn't quit smoking or drinking coffee. It is sad, but exciting because we get to help her out now. 

As usual, we dealt a lot with the homeless. There is one in particular, Brian, who is a Less Active that we have been trying to get back to church. Were supposed to pick him up Sunday, but he wasn't there. We haven't seen him since. 

Being out for more than year is weird. Everyday that passes seems to speed up the time.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, April 21, 2014

Mean Streets of Marysville or Ducks and Geese Better Scurry

My iPad got stolen this week. We were tracting on "A" Street in Marysville, which is probably the worst street in the city, and we left our bags unattended for a minute or two to go the bathroom, and when we came back it was gone. Pretty annoying, but not the end of the world.

Our recent convert Zach King went out with us on Thursday. It was Spring Break, so he could stay with us all day. I feel bad, because it was really a terrible day. We didn't get a lot of work done because nobody was home. 

Breezin, our ten year old investigator, is scheduled to be baptized. We are seeking her father's permission. We talked to him for about an hour on the phone this week, and he said no. He is a born again Christian who has a lot of doctrinal issues with the Church, but he isn't a basher. He was very respectful of our beliefs, and very clear about his own. We are hoping to meet with him in person to see if we can change his mind.

In better news, Tom from the ward kidnapped us and took us to Yuba City. His eleven year old daughter has been waiting for permission from her Catholic mother to get baptized. She finally gave in. We wrote a permission slip in the car on the way over. She signed it, but didn't seem very happy at all. But, we got permission so she can get baptized. 

We were lucky enough to have our new investigator Shirley come to Sacrament Meeting this week. She even brought her mom. She still has agoraphobia issues from being in prison, so she only stayed for the first meeting, but we will get her eventually. 

There are so many homeless people here. The river bottoms have whole villages, not just the one we found. It is interesting to see their different excuses. Some are just nuts, but that's to be expected. Others blame Obama for not being able to get a job instead of their heroin addiction. Others have legitimately fallen on hard times and are clawing their way out of it. Take for instance Bryan. He is a less-active friend of ours we see at Ellis Lake almost everyday. He has been homeless seven years. We have been trying to get him to come back to church for a few weeks now. He has picked up some bad habits, mostly drinking. We are trying to get in contact with his parents and siblings, but it has been hard. 

There are a lot of baby ducks and geese at the lake now. 

All in all, this week was pretty okay.

- Elder Hyde

Monday, April 14, 2014

Of Broken Legs and Cosby Chicken

This week has been interesting, sad, and happy.

The weather has been picking up heat. It has been eighty degrees some days. Our local baseball team, the Gold Sox, is starting practice and the first game is the end of the month.
We met a homeless guy in a wheelchair with two broken legs. We asked him how he got them, and he said that he jumped off the second story of a walnut factory. He said it was dark so he couldn't tell what story he was on. He then asked us to wheel him over to a group of people. "Are they your friends?" we asked. "No, but they look cool." So we wheeled him over to a group of random strangers, one of them threatened to run us over, and we ran. So some guys saw a couple of missionaries ditch a crippled homeless person in their midst.

We have been working on a list of people that we are not sure are still in the ward. Most of them aren't, but we found one lady who is. She doesn't come to church anymore because of something someone did to her daughter. Her best friend's husband, who is also a member, had an affair with his secretary. We are thinking of sending her the talk "Come Join With Us." (PRESIDENT DIETER F. UCHTDORF, OCTOBER 2013)

Also this week we had dinner with the Brooks family. They are the Cosby family mixed with Malcolm in the Middle in the best possible way. They are some of the best members this ward has. She cooked us amazing fried chicken. I was waiting for that dinner for a whole month. (edit from home front: fried chicken, homemade mac 'n' cheese, cole slaw, sweet cornbread, homemade peach cobbler - according to Katrina Brooks)

Photos below from Katrina Brooks
Elders Larsen, Clayburn, Gillies and Hyde

Elders Gillies, Clayburn, Hyde and Larsen

Elders Hyde, Elder Clayburn, Elder Larsen, Elder Gillies

Transfers came last night and there has been no changes. I get to stay in Marysville for six more weeks!

We were out tracting out in District Ten a couple days ago and almost got attacked by a dog. It wasn't messing around either. It was sprinting towards us with its teeth bared and everything.

- Elder Hyde