Monday, April 27, 2015

First Week in the Field

April 27, 2015

Dear Family:

So the end of my MTC stay was good. I am glad to have left but I miss my district. The trip to California went well despite the fact that we had to wake up at 4 in the morning. We arrived in Oakland around ten in the morning and President Meredith picked us up there. He and his wife are super cool and super nice. We also met the AP's who are really cool guys. One is a Laotian speaker. Then we went to the mission home and did a bunch of administrative stuff, went to lunch, and walked around the temple for a while. Then we got assigned our companions and areas. My companion is Elder Schaeffer from Bel-Air Maryland. He is a great missionary, really obedient and hard working. This is his first time training so we are both learning. I was assigned to the Hilltop Second Ward, which covers a huge are at the top of the mission. Starting from the north and going down we cover: Crockett (across the bridge from Vallejo), Rodeo, Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, and El Serido. So I am in a car and we have a lot of space to cover. It is an interesting area. We spend most of our time in Richmond, which is a bit ghetto. But I am having fun learning the area and driving across the area.

I'll briefly cover the first few days of my mission from here.

Wednesday we did all the stuff I told you about, and then went to our apartment. Then we had a couple hours to unpack or whatever we felt like according to President, but we decided to go tracting in the neighborhood across the street. It was actually not that bad! The first door I knocked got slammed in my face, but we got one potential investigator so it was alright. That was it for the night so we went to bed.

Thursday was my first actual missionary work, we visited a recent convert named Gerold. He was inactive like three months ago but he is super solid right now. It is really funny because he just talks about the most random stuff the entire time. I love him. On Sunday he took up like half of elders quorum doing the same thing. Elders quorum has only 5 people too including me and Elder Schaeffer so he pretty much dominates. Anyways, that night we just visited a few members and practice taught the restoration and then tracted a bit more. We got this one guy to listen to us for like 15 minutes but he went to some other church and wasn't interested in setting a return appointment. But he was cool and he asked to pray with us at the end, and we held hands and he rubbed my hand which was pretty weird but happens a lot apparently. Then we went home.

Friday I had my first experience in Richmond, we had a new missionary training in Oakland and then had a dinner in Richmond. Then we visited a less active and I had my first lesson with an actual investigator. After that we OYM'd McDonald, the main street in Richmond. OYMing is a key indicator that the mission tracks which is stands for Open Your Mouth. It is where you talk to someone and have a gospel conversation and leave them with an invitation, and the goal is to get 10 per day. They are tough but I like street contacting. Most people you can only leave with a pass along card and an invitation to visit, and then like give a small testimony so it is easy. We are going back to McDonald tonight so that should be fun.

Saturday we spent like the entire day planning after doing some service in Concord. Usually we do not plan on Saturday but it was a weird week since I am new and it got bumped by training.
Sunday was fun. Church is pretty crazy. We have a lot of old people. The Bishop is really young though and he really focuses on missionary work which is good. That evening we went out to visit some people and I ended up giving out my first Book of Mormon and a couple of pamphlets which was sweet. I ended up with 4 legit OYMs which was good. Then today is P-Day and I finally got to go to the store and get food which was good.

We didn't do that much teaching last week but we have a lot scheduled for this week. I am excited to start teaching actual lessons and stuff. Lastly, if you want to send me mail, send it to the mission home with Elder Hyde on it and they will send it to me.


Elder Hyde

Thursday, April 23, 2015

On the Way to Oakland!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

As spotted in Salt Lake International Airport by an airport employee...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

First Week

Dear Family:

I have so much to tell you guys! The first eight days have been wild! I have so much I wanted to tell you guys but I do not think I have time! I'll just share the most memorable experiences. First of all, They pretty much throw everything at you the first day. My teachers are awesome though. Both of them served in the Gainesville ward! Their names are Sister Zabetti and Sister Hessing (formerly bBorland). So that was pretty cool to talk aboput when I walked into my classroom. I have an awesome district as well, three elders, me, Elder Prete from Orem, and Elder Hawley from Arizona. We are in a trio and that has definitely been an interesting experience. then we have four sisters, Sister Sherwood, Sister Allred, Sister Thompson, and Sister Manumaleuna (brother of Ethan for you BYU football fans). They are all so awesome and I wish I could go into more detail about them but that might have top come another day. My zone was also pretty awesome, but they left on Monday for the field so we were really sad to see them go. Plus we didn't get new missionaries on Wednesday so it is just us left. The days are super long and we have spent a ridiculous amount of time in this one hallway and classroom. But I am having a good time. The days are just huge rollercoasters mentally. I have quickly gained a reputation for knowing every scripture that my district needs. I actually am not having a terrible time teaching either; it just takes a lot of preparation and faith. That is overall how I am doing I guess; now I will tell you about the really cool stuff.

The first night they have a teaching workshop for the new missionaries where like 50 of us group teach someone. You get a background on the investigator and then ask questions to find out more and just talk to them one at a time. Something really awesome happened for me during that. There were a few French elders in the back who didn't speak any English and the lady we were teaching wanted to talk to them since she saw that they had translators with them. So she asked one of them to talk and he couldn't come up with a question on the spot so they just talked for a minute about stuff and got him to talk about the gospel. He shared a really powerful story about his grandfather passing, since the lady had a very similar situation. The reason the experience has stuck in my mind so much is that even though the elder was speaking in French and then it was translated for us, I could feel the spirit before I even knew what he was saying. Like just when he spoke I could feel the spirit even though it was in French. I though that was pretty awesome.

On Sunday the BYU men’s chorus sang for us at the devotional and that was really sweet. After that we watched the film "Character of Christ," an MTC devotional by Elder Bednar. I do not know if you can find those online or anything but if possible I highly recommend it to all of you, it was an awesome talk. For the Tuesday devotional Elder Zwick of the seventy and his wife came and talked to us. They had really great talks about Hope and the Atonement. Other than that it has been a lot of studying, classes, and teaching. I feel pretty good about it so far. I haven't figured out how to work the whole sending pictures from my camera but I will try and get them by next week. Things are a little crazy and I haven't totally unpacked yet. Sorry this is short but so much stuff has happened and I have so much stuff left to do that it is necessary. I leave for Oakland on Wednesday, at like 3 in the morning. Elder Prete and I will be in the same mission, so that should be sweet.

Thanks for all the support.


Elder Hyde

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Off to the MTC!

Well in about 2 and a half hours I enter the MTC, I can't believe that the day is finally here. This blog should be updated weekly by my parents so you guys can learn about my adventures in California. Thanks for all of the love and support, I will really need it in the coming days. I am excited to finally begin my service, and am looking forward to all the fun things I will be doing over the next two years!