Friday, December 7, 2012

My amazing family!!
It is so good to hear from you! I feel close to you through your e-mails and they fill me with peace and joy!
Thank you for taking your time to tell me about your lives every week. It is much appreciated.
It is now the month of December!! Where in the world did November go!?!? I think that it got skipped this year! But now we're into an exciting month when hearts are softened, and we get to dedicate our time to our Heavenly Father by thinking of his children around us. What a blessing, to loose ourselves and serve our brothers and sisters. This truly is a great time of year.
From the sounds of it, everyone is very busy! That's part of it! There's much to do! A lot to get done! I hope we can all take time to slow down. To take a step back and think about what makes us happy, and what makes those around us happy. I will tell you what has always launched me into Christmas mode every year. I LOVE going and getting the Christmas tree. Going to the K-mart parking lot on Washington Blvd, picking out the most hidious and rediculous tree, hearing dad tell the story of how everyone walks by and laughs at how pitiful the tree us, and then taking the tree home and decorating it that night.
I LOVE when mom and I make those delicious, chocolatey, Christmas magic, Heaven sent, Christmas cookie balls. With the Hersheys and whip cream rolled up and then rolled in chocolate sprinkles or nuts.
I LOVE it when Chad decks out our house and grandmas house!
I LOVE when Jamie challenges Chad to Christmas wrapping wars.
I LOVE Tessa's evolution of reactions when she opens up her presents. Except for the year when I told her she couldn't touch my amp and she cried! haha
I LOVE how Brady would always treat my gifts to him like they were perfect, even though they weren't that great. haha this actually applies to everyone now that I think about it! haha
Christmas is AWESOME!!
We had a great week this past week!! Our mission taught almost 900 lessons. LEGIT. Everyone is doing great! In the Anaheim 3rd ward things are still cruising right along!
The twins are doing really good! They are so stinking cute you guys! Haha that's super un-manly to say, but they are! They love church and the gospel! It's so cool to see such great examples from two little girls like that!
Marisella is doing awesome as well! She's going to be General Young Womens President one day! She's so powerful!
We taught Jorge this week and he really impressed the heck out of me! He's the 14 year old kid who lives in the ghetto. He came to church last sunday and we taught him on friday. He really loved it! He said,"I really liked my lesson in Teachers Quorum. There was a really cool scripture we read in like...I think it was Mosiah 2:17? It was about how when you serve others around you, you're serving God. I thought that was really cool!" That kid impresses me so much! His circumstances are horrible! He has no one to look up to except his gang famliy, and his gang friends who hang outside his house every night, and yet he has such an amazing desire for a 14 year old boy, who's never been religious, to seek after righteousness. We had a great lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation. We really hammered hard about the things we need to do in this life to get to the Celestial Kingdom. He absolutely loved it! He was asking great questions and making comments and felt genuine excitement! In his prayer at the end he said,"I really want to be baptized on the 15th and confirmed the 16th. i know I've made mistakes, but I know that God can help me. Help me to never miss church on sunday and to read and pray every day..." He's an incredible young man! He's ready! It will be a cool thing to see him get baptized. It will be even cooler that that is the last weekend of my mission! We keep prayin for him. He's smart and his heart is in the right place. He's a good kid and I have high hopes for him. Awesome!
Yesterday we went to a pretty incredible thing! It's called the Creche! (Cresh). It's this thing that is put on by the Orange Stake every year the first weekend of December. It's at the Orange Stake Center, it's called the Yorba Building. They deck the whole church out for Christmas! The entire gym was full of different exhibits of different little Nativity displays from all over the world. Kenya, Russia, South America, Everywhere! The lighting is really cool and they totally go all out! Then in the rest of the church, all throughout the halls and different rooms there are paintings of christ and his birth, and different pieces of art, like big rugs and photography and all sorts of stuff that lined all the halls. There was one room in paritcular that was really amazing! All the walls and the ceiling were covered with a big white cloth, then hanging in the room were really powerful paintings of the Savior about His life. There was soft Christmas music playing, and everyone in the room would only whisper. The Spirit was really strong in that room! It was almost as powerful as the Temple! There was just a reverence from everyone that went in there. Really spectacular actually! Throughout the night for all 3 days there were performances that were put on by several different quiors and performers from about 5 to 9 every night. The turn out was huge! We were only there on sunday night and there were a lot of people from all over that came to check it out! I think our family needs to go next year. It really is pretty amazing!
So Chad, have you picked up that package/ukulele from that kid yet?
Speaking of packages!! I have packaged up a bunch of crap-ola that I will be sending home most likely today. Maybe Possiby along with your Christmas Presents. They are all ready, I just need to box them. And I'm getting another box today for all my shirts that just take up room and my p-coat and all the stuff that would'nt normally fit in the suit case. So there will be about 3 packages showing up soon. One will say,"Do not open until Christmas." Don't open that one. You know the drill. I've definitely learned preparation on the mission! I've been working on your presents during November and they're ready to go! I really hope you like them. But the others I don't really care if you open them or not. It's just full of stuff I've aquired and people have given me and stuff. Nothing too crazy.
Elder Hartt and I are doing really great! He's one of my best friends out here! I've really grown to love the kid a whole lot! He's an amazing missionary and a great friend! You guys would really love him. His cousin actually is in the MTC ready to go to the Ogden, Utah mission! His cousin was the starting point guard for North Carolina. Pretty good kid!
Wasn't the Christmas Devotional yesterday awesome!?!? I love hearing the first Presidency speak. They are inspiring. I loved President Monson's quote,"He who gives his money, gives much. He who gives his time, gives more. But he who gives of himself, gives all." They are incredible men! I'm so grateful to have a prophet on the earth. When people we teach begin to understand that that's true, it is amazing to see them grow closer to the Savior just by that knowledge.
Elder Hartt and I are training tomorrow in our Mission Council. (All the zone leaders and coordinating sisters + us + President and Sister Bowen). We are training all about the Doctrine of Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We're really stoked for it. We have an awesome lesson set up. We put the finishing touches on it today and it is going to be a spiritual feast tomorrow! One of the cool things we talked about his morning was applying the atoning blood of Jesus Christ in our lives, just as the children of Israel had to "apply" the blood on the doors. It wasn't enough that they just sacrificed their lambs, they had to apply the blood on the door. For us, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is there, it happened, it's only when we apply it that it takes effect in our lives. We are also going into some great doctrine about Baptism. I've been having some amazing studies lately on all these gospel subjects! It's been really great. I continue to learn so much everyday!  
Dad, it sounds like you've had a rough week. I know I've said it a lot before, but your faith and determination is inspiring to see. You've been an outstanding example through all of this. I know things aren't exactly easy right now. I know you want to be over with all this. But I am glad that you have the end goal in sight. It's so great to see that you haven't given up. Your example moves me, as I'm sure it does others. I know you want to be at the airport so bad. It might bring you comfort to know this, President Bowen told me the other day,"I've been praying for your dad to be able to make it to the airport." He's such a caring man. Know that you are in my prayers, President Bowens prayers, and many missionaries prayers out here. Just as you said, I know those prayers are heard by Heavenly Father. You can do this. The end is in sight. Keep it going. You've got all of us behind you! I love you!
Quick question. One of my friends out here is from Layton. His parents want to go to a homecoming talk of someone who he served with. They want to know what day my homecoming talk is. Could you maybe find out for me?
Momma! Ofcourse I can deliver those gifts to President Bowen, and Tucker. President Tucker actually broke his leg pretty bad! Fell down the stairs the other day! So that will be a good thing for him, he'll really like that. I've gotten pretty close with President Pugmire also. He's in the mission Presidency as well. maybe something for him would be good too if that's ok. Thanks for doing that! These men really do a lot for us.
Ok you guys!
I cannot believe I only have 2 weeks left. Next week I'll only have 1 week left. It doesn't feel real. But there's still a lot to be done! I'm giving it all that I possibly have got! I want to be so worn out and exhausted by the time I get home that I can hardly stand! haha
I love you guys so much. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love you. I miss you!!
Elder Keyes

November 26th letter

How I enjoyed your letters this week! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You are all still very trunky! haha I might even venture to say that you are trunkyer this week than last week! haha Don't worry, I'm still focused 100% on what I am doing here. You've pretty much been trunky since I left so I think the only reason your trunkiness is gratified now is the fact that there really is such a short time left. So your trunky comments are justified! haha
Your thanksgiving sounds like it was pretty rad!!
I will give you a small preface of what has happened in the past 7 days and then I will expound on my comments.
-Elder Hartt and I both baptized and confirmed my favorite little twin girls!! (Max and Beck are my favorite twins. Tessa is my favorite little girl. Jaqueline and Jerissa are my favorite little twin girls)!
-I got to confirm Marisella!
-Thanksgiving was incredible!
-The Spirit is one of the most powerful resources Heavenly Father has given to us
Here it goes.
We met with Jaqueline and Jerissa on tuesday and got their baptismal interview taken care of. Elder Short, our district leader, gave the interview and commented that he was very impressed at how smart they were and said they were more ready than most the people he has ever interviewed. I would have to agree. So their baptism was set for saturday and we were excited for them! Their family came into town for thanksgiving, their dad, sister Jenny, and Anais. from Arizona. Just as with anyone getting ready for a major step to follow the Lord, there is always opposition. Satan for some reason thinks he's got more power than God and can dissuade the children of men. What a fool. We got a call saturday at 12 in the afternoon from the twins "mom". 4 hours before their baptism. She said to me,"The twins sisters have been asking them questions and they can't answer! That makes us think that they are not ready to be baptized! They are too young! Come over and help them cuz they can't answer these questions!" I knew instantly that something was wrong with this situations because the twins are incredibly smart for their age and can answer anything. We went over as soon as possible. When we got there, there was such a weird feeling about it. Noone was happy. Everyone was very serious and not smiling. The spirit was not there. The twins were scared to death. They looked terrified. Their sister Jenny (19 yrs old. Tattoos. Nose rings. Peace of work) was sitting with them on each side of her with her arm around both of them. We got in and sat down and just asked what was going on. They explained that at breakfast that morning they were all sitting around the table and they asked the twins,"Why are you getting baptized?" The twins didn't want to offend any of their family cuz they are all from different religion, so they didn't answer. The family then began to attack them with questions, raising their voice and arguing. Of course the twins were shocked, they couldn't answer anything. that's when they called us.
We asked if we could say an opening prayer. We did so. The Spirit was right there with Elder Hartt and I. He whispered immideately to us what we needed to do. We just started talking to the twins as if we came over for a normal lesson. We asked,"So what have you guys been reading this week!?" They explained that they had been reading about Nephi building a boat. They recited word for word some of the scripture they had read, and explained the whole story in vivid detail. We asked them questions like,"So what did you like about this story?" They talked about how they loved how Nephi was obedient no matter how hard the trials got. yea...they are wonderful. When then asked them to do the 10 commandments in sign language cuz we always have a lot of fun doing that with them. They did all 10 perfectly. We then told the family,"In just 5 minutes they've done what most of our investigators can't do over a period of months. They interpret scriptures and understand how to apply them and they even remember the 10 commandements. Why aren't they ready for baptism?" They were so caught up that they couldn't answer questions this morning so they brought that up again, to which we said,"Yeah! We probably wouldn't have been able to answer those questions at 8 years old while we're being attacked like that either!" Their "mom" got baptized 3 years ago so we asked,"Sister Zavala, 3 years ago when you were baptized, did you have a perfect knowledge of everything about the gospel?" Ofcourse she didn't. We then read in Moroni about how they "witnessed unto the church that they had truly repented" and explained how the baptism interview is what is being talked about in this scripture. We busted out the 6 baptismal interview questions and asked the twins all of the questions. In a nut shell.
Do you believe in God and Jesus Christ?
Do you believe Joseph Smith restored the church and we have a prophet on the earth today?
What does it mean to repent and do you feel you have repented of your sins?
Have you ever committed a serious crime?
What is the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, the law of tithing, and what does it mean to keep the sabbath day holy?
Are you ready to make the covenant of baptism with God and strive to be faithful throughout your life?
They answered every question spot on and perfectly. They made me so proud.
Their antagonist sister asked them after those questions,"So why do you want  to be baptized?" They answered,"Because we want to follow Jesus Christ and make God happy." The sister said,"Are you sure you're ready now? You can wait a couple years?" Then with confidence and with heartfelt expression from just two little 8 year old girls, they told their sister,"We want to be baptized today!"
It was Elder Hartt and I's pleasure to baptize both of them just 3 hours later.
What an example to us. It's just like the scripture that says that even young children will say things that will cause wise men to wonder.
Their sister then actually softened her heart and told them she will support them and that she was happy for them. She also went on to tell us,"Before you guys came here, I was really worried about them getting baptized today because that's such a big commitment, but after you guys being here for even just a little bit I can feel the vibes that you guys bring and it's really nice. I think you guys are great for my sisters." We took that opportunity to bare testify. We said,"Those vibes you feel are not from us. WE don't bring those vibes. It is the Spirit sent from God to testify to your hearts that what we are sharing is true, and that it comes from Him."
It was a bit of an intense experience, but by the time we left everyone was smiling and laughing and we left with the Spirit there in their home.
I testify that the Spirit is real. It is not a scientific effect that we create. It is a member of the Godhead sent to testify of Heavenly Father and the Savior. Noone but God could have changed the mood of that home in just under an hour like we saw that day. All it took was inviting Him to be there, and He was.
The next day they were confirmed! We switched it up for the confirmations. I baptized Jerissa and confirmed Jaqueline. Elder Hartt baptized Jaqueline and confirmed Jerissa.
They were so happy. Their smiles really do light up the world. One day you guys will meet them!
I also got to confirm Marisella right after the twins got confirmed! 3 confirmations in one sacrament meeting! haha
Confirming Marisella was very special. There are some investigators that you just have kind of a connection with, and Marisella is one of those. She's an incredible example. She said that she really felt the Spirit strong as she was being confirmed. And her mom Silvia, who speaks no english, said that,"she felt the beauty of the words I said in her confirmation." I told them that they weren't my words. As I've been able to exercise the Priesthood in giving blessings and conferring the priesthood and such, I've come to realize that more and more. The words given in those ordinances are sacred. Anyone who's given a blessing and really just cleared their mind and let the words come out knows that it is not you, it's the Holy Ghost. They are a sweet family. Don't worry you'll meet them as well!
We also found 5 new solid investigators this week! 3 of them are getting baptized the 16th of December! haha just 2 days before....well you know!
First 2. Desi and Jorge. Awesome! Both 14, both cousins, both of their parents are either in jail or are rediculous and in gangs. They live with their grandparents in a super rough part of town. They were taught by the spanish sisters, but neither of them speak fluent spanish and they preferred Elders, so they got passed to us! We instantly hit it off with them! We brought a way cool member of the ward and they like him a lot as well! Jorge came to church yesterday for all 3 hours and loved it! They both are really smart when it comes to the gospel! It is incredible to see how the Lord is preparing the youth! It is a testimony builder to me of how the Lord is sending in the "elect" for the last days and is preparing them. They both are excited to be baptized! From the background they come from I'm so stinking impressed with how good of kids they are. They really are soo good. It breaks my heart to see their family situation, but nevertheless, they handle it surprisingly well.
The next 2 is Joe and Cellie! We contaced Cellie on the street a couple weeks ago. Joe is in the Army Reserves, and Cellie is Hispanic. They are a little awkward, but very nice and really  intelligent. Elder Hartt and I have been praying since the beginning of October to find a mom and dad with a child. Joe and Cellie are an answer to those prayers. They have a 2 year old named Dellen. We've taught them twice. They are very solid! They're looking for a church, they're Christian, but they think that all the other Christian churches they've gone to are irreverant and crazy. They LOVE everything we've taught them about our church and they told us from the get go,"Mormons are the only religion with no blood on their hands." and they are huge skeptics so for them to say that is big. Joe told us yesterday that he had a cool experience when he was in Utah. This is a testimony of the importance of always being Christ-like. Joe was in Salt Lake, about to walk accross the side-walk, when a truck pulled around the corner and almost hit him, the driver yelled out the window,"I'm Sorry!" as he drove off. Joe told us that that struck him. He said,"What kind of person yells sorry out the window? That never happens! And it just so happened that I was in Salt Lake? I don't think that's much of a coincidence." Such a little thing, yet really impacted him and now look. He has missionaries in his home teaching him the restored gospel! I'm grateful for examples of the church that have planted these seeds for years! He said he was just 17 when that happened! Now look! It's just a testimony builder to "always stand as a witness of God". The Lord knows what he's doing.
This is a very long e-mail! haha Are you guys tired of looking at a computer yet?
Thanksgiving was awesome!!! We went to this VERY nice, and delicious, restaurant by Angels Stadium called The Catch. They had a special Thanksgiving buffet that wassss theeee boooommmmbbb. SO good. President and Sister Bowen's son and daughter and law came with, Corey and Becca! They are way awesome too! It was such an awesome Thanksgiving! We had such a good time!! We talked and talked and talked and laughed and just really enjoyed each other's company! Something cool happened too. At the end when we were all done, our hostess came up and told us,"Just so you folks know, Mr and Mrs. Hartt have prepaid for your meal today, so everything is taken care of and you can leave when you like!" We were all shocked. Elder Hartt's parents had called in that morning and done like a prepay for the meal without any of use knowing! President and Sister Bowen had no clue and they started crying. Elder Hartt started crying. He told his parents in his e-mail monday we were having dinner with the Bowens but he didn't tell them where. We still have no clue how they found out, but they did! So that was pretty cool! ha we're going to have to go there when we come visit cuz it's awesome!
What I'm going to try and do today is get a box for all my crap I've aquired on my mission and send it home so I have room in my suitcases for everything. I have all your Christmas presented ready to go, so there will be a box sent off probably next week or the week after that says,"DO NOT OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS" So don't open that one. But all the other ones you can tear into, I don't care, just as long as they make it home I'll be fine. Speaking of which. Chad have you got my stuff from Elder Shaw yet?? My Box and Ukulele? If not I want both of those items for Christmas please! haha just let me know if you have got them yet.
Dad. I know this is a trying week for you. Please know that you are still prayed for by missionaries in this mission, all day everyday you are in my prayers. This is your last cliff to climb on this mountain of a trial you've had to bare. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this, but I think you put it best in your e-mail when you talked about how you will be relying heavily upon the Atonement. He's felt every pain, every sickness. Remember how Alma 7 puts it. He suffered all. I love you! And wether or not you are at the airport, it does not matter to me. Honestly. What matters is that I get to see you that day. If you want a miracle to be able to be there, then if it's God's will, so be it. But if not, I will still be coming home the same day to the same family in my same suit with my same little "I'm so holy" missionary glow haha. So don't stress about that. Whatever happens happens, and that will be the way Heavenly Father intends for it to be. So we should be happy with whatever we get! Everything will be fine. It will all be ok. Hang in there Dad!
As we begin December this week, let's all really zone in on what this month/season is about. It's not about me coming home, it's not about making sure everything looks good, not about presents. We all know the true meaning. It's nothing new. We celebrate the Saviors birth this month. Let's make it a celebration for Him.
I love you guys so much!
I miss you! I'm so excited to see you!
I pray for each of you everyday!
Thanks for everything you do!
Elder Keyes

Monday, November 19, 2012

My family!!
You are very trunky! hahaha Holy Cow!!
I am extremely excited to see you so soon! It will be here before you know it! Time is passing much too quickly. I feel like it was just yesterday I had 20 weeks left and I felt like time was running out! Now with 4 weeks left I'm just flat out trippin haha. I am excited to see you. I am. BUT I am not trunky. There is still much to do and my mind is still focused on this incredible work and it will be until December 17 when I am no longer authorized to proselyte anymore. That's just how it is.  Then let the trunkiness begin! My companion never ceases to remind me how much time I have left haha. We had a very good week this last week! I had some great moments that I want to share with you.
I went on exchanges with an Elder on Saturday named Elder Dahl. He's a great missionary serving in one of my old areas that I was zone leader in. He asked me the typical exchanges question of,"What would you say are the 3 things that you have learned on your mission that will stick with you for your life?" This is the first time I think I actually thought hard and long and gave a legit answer. So here are the 3 things I think are top on my  list.
1. True conversion.
Before the mission I had a testimony. But I became truly converted to everything detail of the gospel and the church on my mission. I have a love for everything about the ways of God that will never deminish.
2. Recognizing the Holy Ghost.
I've been able to recognize more frequently and clearer the promptings of the Spirit in my life. I feel like by doing this and following those promptings, my life is more aligned with the path that Heavenly Father would have me walk.
3. Understanding
Before my mission I loved the Savior and The Father. On my mission I have learned to understand and apply their love and the Atonement into the very details of my life. I understand the gospel. I understand who I am. I understand what my testimony means. I understand what my purpose in life is. I understand so much. Heavenly Father has allowed my vision of life to expand. Or in other words the promised is fulfilled that "...the mysteries of God [have] [been] unfolded unto [me]."
There are many things I have learned on my mission. There have been soooo many things I have learned. If I could chanel those things into a top 3 category. These 3 principles are it.

On the missionary work front.
The Twins are getting baptized this saturday!! We're so excited for their baptism! It's a pretty tender thing because this very well could be one of, if not my last, baptism on my mission. It's going to be such an exciting event. On sunday they will be confirmed, and so will Marcy. (who we married and baptized last week). I will be doing her confirmation. The twins will also get confirmed. Elder Hartt and I are baptizing and confirming both of the twins. It will be such a cool experience. We are filled with excitement. We have taught them everything they need to know and they are stinkin smart! Everytime we ask them about their reading, they recite perfectly the stories they have read about, quoting scriptures and everything. Then they will have awesome questions for us about the things they've learned. They are ready to be dunked! haha I've really grown to love the twins. They are the best! We'll take some good pics!
Yesterday we went over to Marcy's. It was a big day for her family! Her awesome husband Eduardo had a pretty big event! They both work for Usana. In Long Beach yesterday, the first ever all spanish Usana conference was held and Eduardo was the main speaker. He was rollin with the big shots! We got the scoop on it all. The company owners and everyone loved him and his speech. He got to spend nearly the whole day with them doing all the stuff "VIP" style. He's such a good guy. He's going to get baptized next! haha it's only a matter of time. Marcy is trying to convert him. You guys. Marcy is awesome. We were talking to them and Marcy told us about how she can always recognize when someone is a member of the church. She said she will see someone or hear them talk and she just knows that they are a member. She said she recognizes a specail "Light" about them and asked us if she was crazy or if there was doctrine about it. She was please to hear that she wasn't crazy! haha It's a very cool thing for a convert to notice that already. Another cool thing about them is last week Marcy and her 2 kids got into a pretty bad car accident. It totaled their car, but they were completely fine. Not a scratch or ache on them. When Eduardo came to get her she was kinda shook up, and sorry about the car (even though it wasn't their fault) and Eduardo being the great guy he is told her,"It's just a car! The miracle is that you are okay and the kids are okay! It is a miracle! A car is just something material. It does not matter! God protected our family!" Marcy went on to explain more to the story too. Camillia (their adorable little 2 year old) wasn't even wearing a seat belt. And absolutely nothing happend to any of them. It's cool for them to look at this as a blessing instead of a tragedy. Even Eduardo who is not a member yet instantly recognized it as a miracle and a blessing from God. That's a really awesome thing to hear from a convert of only a week. Their family is so amazing. You guys will get to meet them. I'm proud of them. We've been able to baptize nearly their whole family as soon as Eduardo gets dunked! He is almost there.
Thanksgiving this week! Haha we have a funny situation for thanksgiving.
We were originally supposed to eat dinner with the -----. You guys. The ----- are the filthiest people in Anaheim. Last time we went over. JUST LAST TIME. It's been worse than this! But just a week ago when we were over there! We walked in and the odor of dog about made us gag. We walked in and there were puddles of dog pee on the floor where we were about to eat. Did they take care of that? No. In fact, with their bare feet, they walked through the puddles and tract it all over the house. Hard wood floors. We could see in reflection thier dog pee foot prints all over the house. There was all sorts of hair in our food, and in our drinks. Sister --- was constantly touching her hair and nose and dealing the food to us. It was cold spaghetti. Delicious! And if that's not enough. There was big dark, fresh, pee spots on the couch that Brother ---- went and layed on right after he was done eating. Yum!! So we were supposed to go to the ----s for dinner, but as soon as Sister Bowen found out what type of thanksgiving we were sentenced to have, she told us,"You are not eating there. You are coming with President Bowen and I." We never argue with Sister Bowen :) So we are going out to eat with the Bowens for thanksgiving! They made reservations at this rrreeallly awesome, very nice, restaurant called The Catch. It's a really nice place. We're stoked! It's going to be a great thanksgiving! We told the ----- we got called by our Mission President to be with them that day and they understood, but we are still stopping by to share a lesson with them after we're done eating. haha we reallly lucked out you guys.
Tonight we are actually cooking for the Sessions! I love the Sessions so much! They are one of my favorite families! I came here the week after sister sessions got baptized and got to take part in her confirmation. We love them! They are soo awesome! Elder Hartt and I are actually a great cooking tag team! Tonight we are making them one of our favorite dishes! Bow tie pasta with a creamy alfredo sauce mixed with this spicy tomato sauce by Giada, with grilled chicken. Very Tasty! Elder Hartt handles the pasta and I cook the chicken! I've become a chicken specialist on my mission! hah
I want to say a few words specifically about the health issues going on with Dad. I know I usually give the words of encouragement like Hang in there and stay strong, but this week I feel I should add just a little more.
I've learned on my mission that the Atonement doesn't just give us strength and comfort to overcome the pains of sin. The power that comes from the Atonement gives us power " all things..." According to my knowledge, here is how this works.
By accessing the Atonement, we access forgiveness and mercy from Heavenly Father. When we do this, we are "filled with his love". The promise from the sacrament, which gives us the key to access the Atonement, is that "His Spirit will always be with us". Now, the Spirit is a member of the Godhead. The Spirit directly links us to our Heavenly Father and helps us see as he sees and helps us feel what He feels. Since Heavenly Father is all powerful, the Atonement literally allows us to feel physical strength. A great illustration of this is the general authorities of the church. For this example we will use President Hinckley. He was such a frail old man, but had strength to go anywhere and do anything! Because he was filled with the Spirit that gave him strength to do it! So when we access the healing power of the Atonement, we are accessing the Godhead, and we are accessing strength that comes to our bodies which God made and gave us the capacity to have. If we could pull all these thoughts together it would be outlined as such.
The Atonement provides power to do anything. Without the Atonement, there would be no priesthood power, there would be no opportunity to feel the Spirit, there would be no hope, there would be nothing. Life itself would stand meaningless. To be born, to live, and to die. But, with the Sacrifice of the Savior of all mankind, we are empowered, physically as well as spiritually. We have hope. We have meaning. We have an opportunity in this life to receive a glimpse, a small glimpse, of the power and the life of Father in Heaven. He is willing to give us a portion of his power. With the Atonement, anything is possible. We can "do all things which are expedient unto [Him]". So Dad in those moments when you feel that things couldn't be getting worse, remember the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know you do already, but continue. Remember that the Lord is mindful of everything and everyone. I read a powerful verse this morning in 3 Nephi 18 where he says,"I know my sheep, and they are numbered." How powerful that is. I love you Dad! You are in my prayers!! You are an amazing example to me! Thank you!
I love you guys so much! I miss you! I pray for each of you daily!
He Lives!!
Elder Keyes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

You guys. I will never ever be able to explain all the awesomeness of this week. It was incredible. But I will try and highlight the major points

We got transfers figured out and finalized on tuesday.

Wednesday Elder Kopischke of the 70 came to our mission to do 2 conferences in our mission. (North and South). He's amazing! He got up at the first of the meeting and just said," I want each of you to know that I do not have an agenda for the meeting today. You will be making it. I want each of you to think of a question. Something you're wondering, something you want to get out of this, something you're wanting to know." Everyone wrote down their question and we had our meeting. A 6 hour meeting! President and Sister Bowen spoke, we had some lunch and came back. E. Kopischke then answered 2 or 3 questions from the missionaries. We talked about being agents, exercising our agency, and also developing the faith to find investigators. At the end of the meeting he asked,"How many of you had your questions answered today?" Everyone in the room raised their hands. (90+ missionaries) He said,"I do not know what your questions were, but I do know that the Spirit has been here with us, and that is how the Spirit works Elders and Sisters." It was very powerful.

The next day he introduced the meeting very similar and we talked about completely different things! It was cool to see that he really didn't have an agenda! He did it all completely by the spirit. This day we talked about how to find new investigators and how the Lord is preparing "the elect" to hear the gospel at this time. It was very inspirational. He actually threw Elder Hartt and I on the spot. He brought us up to the front (in front of another 90 missionaries) and said," Maybe the AP's could teach us something about finding that will answer your questions and help us." And right there on the spot we taught everyone for 10 minutes about developing faith to find the elect in our areas. It went pretty well! Elder Kopischke is just an inspiring guy and the Spirit was so strong that it was easy to feel what we needed to say. That night he trained ALL the ward councils and stake presidencies of our whole mission on the ward mission process. Over 600 people attended that meeting. We didn't go to that one, but we heard it was awesome! We actually were at President's house waiting for them when they got home (E. Kopischke stayed with President during his stay in Cali) cuz we had to do leadership calls that night. E. K and President showed up and we just got to talk to E. K for a little bit, just us and him. He's such a good guy. He's pretty funny too! 

The next morning he had a special meeting with the zone leaders, 2 sisters, us, and Pres. + Sis. Bowen. It was such a great meeting! He put a fire under all of us! The way he presents the messages he shares is so inspiring. After that meeting President Bowen drove him to San Diego to re arrange a stake. Spiritually full!

Monday we taught Maricella about the Law of Chastity. She's been living with her "partner" for 14 years. They have 2 kids. She is Edward Corro's aunt (We baptized edward in september) So we went over with the Bishop and taught chastity and told her,"You have to be married to be baptized" she in turn said,"Well I am going to get baptized on the 11th. What do I need to do?" We shared with her about getting a marriage license and then our Bishop could do it for free. She whipped open her planner and planned out everything!! "Friday afternoon I will go get the license and then we could do the marriage on Saturday at 7. Does that work for you guys?" She did it all! We taught her and got her baptismal interview on friday and we attended her marriage on saturday!! It was soo awesome!!! It was a beautiful wedding! Her and her husband Eduardo were so happy. You could just see it on their faces. It was such a special experience. The next day at 6 she was baptized. We married her and baptized her in less than 24 hours! haha it was a very powerful baptism. Her whole family and friends were there. She's absolutely on fire. She told Elder Hartt and I that we've helped her to understand the things that she's wanted to know her whole life. She was extremely grateful. Truly incredible.

That's not all!
Saturday I got to baptize Brother Postil!! He was the investigator from La Habra that couldn't stop smoking!! He finally quit and called me to baptize him saturday evening just before Maricella's baptism! That was so stinking awesome!! It was so good to see everyone from La Habra again! Brother Postil and I had a cool experience too. Just after we got dressed after the baptism while we were walking back to finish up the meeting we just kinda stopped and talked about how he felt. I stopped him and just shared my testimony of baptism with him, and he said," Well I wouldn't have done this if I didn't know it was true. I've read the whole Book of Mormon and I know for a fact that it's the word of God. I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I feel the spirit when he speaks even through the t.v. I know Joseph Smith saw what he saw and I know that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God. It took me 65 years to understand that, but now I know that that is true." What a cool testimony! It was very powerful to hear that from a new convert. Especially brother Postil who I really have grown to love! He's one of my favorite people I've taught on my mission. So cool!

We're still teaching the twins and they are sooo stinking cute! Last time we went over and at the first just followed up on their personal reading. The recited perfectly the story of Nephi and his brothers going to get the plates of brass. They even recited scriptures like word perfect for us and at the end Jerissa asked," So in the 10 commandments it says we shouldn't kill, so why did Nephi kill Laban?" Super smart girls!! Haha and the funny part was to begin the whole lesson, right after we said the opening prayer Jaquline asked us,"So did you guys vote for President?" haha it was hilarious! They are so awesome, Next saturday is their baptism!!

We're also still working with the Kors. Elder Hartt and I both felt a prompting during E. Kopischke's talk that we need to give the Kor family a tour through the church. So we did! We opened up the church thursday night when noone was there and walked through and gave them a tour through the church. It was so great! When we were in the chapel talking about what happens in there, the spirit was very strong. We asked brother Kor, who has no religious background at all, "What are you feeling right now Brother Kor?" He responded,"I feels really peaceful in here." We got to testify that it was the Spirit he was feeling! it was so awesome. Yes!!

Transfers went way well! We're stoked for this transfer. Super powerful companionships. We're stoked! This morning we dropped off the 4 departing missionaries and picked up the 17 new missionaries that came in!! That's a huge group! And it's only going to get bigger! The new ones are on fire and ready to go! I'm very impressed with the power that these new missionaries!! They're the cream of the crop! They will make a great addition to the mission! 

Ok you guys, this is only like a half report of what happened this week! haha it was a wayyy busy week, but it was the best kind of busy ever!! We're loving life!!! We get to feel the spirit everyday!!! We have amazing missionaries and people that are all around us! I love my companion! I love my mission President! I love my mission! I love my ward! My investigators! The crazy people of Anaheim! Your e-mails! This work!! Everything!!! I love life right now so much!!! My mission is the best!! I wish everyone could have this experience!! I'm grateful to all those that have set the example for me to come on this mission! It has changed my life!! You just can't get this experience anywhere else!! Yess!!!

You guys! I love you so much! I cannot believe I have 4 weeks and 6 days left! Dad keep going strong!! I know you probably feel like crap right now, but hang in there! We're still prayin for you out here! I love you!
I miss you guys!! I'm excited to see you, but I have a lot of work left to do here! But when the time comes I will be ready and stoked.
Elder Keyes

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Good Morning NO. Town, Utah!!!
Whats upp!! How is everyone!?
We had a huge busy week this past week, and this next week is going to be even busier!!
Check it,
Tuesday: We picked up our 2 new Vietnamese and Chinese missionaries and trained them all day. They are pretty awesome. Elder Anderson, and Elder Haviland. They are doing super well in their programs and we're excited to see what comes of them!
Wednesday(Halloween): We had a special Zone Leader Council! We were supposed to do it this tuesday, but we are too busy, so we had it Hallween night at the mission office instead! It was wayy fun! We figured there's nothing better to do on Hallween night, so we might as well meet. We did our training on what the brethren trained President Bowen on in San Diego for his Mission President Seminar. It is all on the Book of Mormon and really accessing the power of the Book of Mormon with everyone. Preach My Gospel teaches that we should impliment the Book of Mormon in every aspect of our work, so Elder Hartt, President and Sister Bowen, and I trained the Zone Leaders on how to do just that! It's incredible to see how the training really does affect the mission. After our training, certain key indicators went up this week. There are 130 investigators in our mission with a baptismal date right now. 98 came to sacrament and we have 92 progressing. Those are very good numbers for those areas. When priesthood keys are used and the training revealed gets passed down to the missionaries, it's incredible to see that take effect.
Thursday: We completely re-did our transfer board. Cleaned it up and everything, because we have a general authority coming this week who will be taking a look at it.
(I'll talk more about that in a second)
Friday: We completed our district leader outlines for the district meetings in January, because we always stay 3 months ahead and the general authority is going to be looking at those too. So now we have all the district meeting training set from now until february.
Saturday: We had a ton of teaching appointments and did our weekly planning.
Sunday: We had a Presidency Meeting with our Mission Presidency and got everything finalized for what we need to do for the General authority that's coming.
That's all the none-proselyting stuff we had to do! ha and this week is even fuller!! It's going to be crazy.
Ok so here's the cool stuff.
I don't know if I've been talking about the Zavala twins as much as I should be. We've been teaching them for like 3 weeks. I think I told you guys that next to tessa, they are the cutest little girls I've ever seen and I still stand by that. Here's a refresher about them. Their mom died when they were little. She wasn't a member. Their dad lives in Arizona. He's not a member either. They live with their guardian, Ana Zavala, who was baptized 3 years ago. She is the "Kind of girlfriend" to their dad. Therefore they are considered convert baptisms and under our stewardship since their parents aren't members. Their dad told Ana that he wants to talk with us before he gives permission for them to get baptized. We finally got to talk with him this past thursday! He drove up from Arizona. He doesn't speak very much english. It's all spanish. But he sat in on a lesson we had with the twins about scripture study, prayer, following the prophet, and obedience. They are so smart!! I love teaching them! BTW their names are Jaquline and Jerissa. Their older sisters are always in the lessons too. Jasmine(12) and Sabrina (14). They are both members. It's so much fun to teach all of them! I love it! Anyways, their dad sat in on the lesson and he liked it a lot. After the lesson we asked if he wanted to speak with us privately. He said,"I don't need to talk to you. You have my permission to baptize them. What you've taught tonight is good. As long as they are following Jesus Christ they can be baptized." It was such an answer to prayers!!! They are getting baptized on the 24th of this month! He is going to be there for it, which will be very special! We're excited for them!
We also met with Chiante Mataiatusi. The samoan. She's really coming along! She asks us for personal reading assignments nearly everyday about subjects in the Book of Mormon that she wants to research. and then she always texts us a summary of what she read and what it meant to her. She always prays that God will help her to be baptized. She's so ready, all she needs to do is come to church and she'll be there!
Marisella is awesome!! We taught her this past week and she's super ready! There's only one snag with her. Her and her husband aren't married. SHe refers to him as her husband. They have 2 children that are 8yrs old and 2 yrs old. They have been living together for a long time. They own a business together, they've always wanted to be married, they just haven't taken the time to do it. So she is now aware of what she needs to do. She has a baptismal date for this coming sunday and she told us she still wants to make that! If they get married this week she can definitely get baptized! We are going over with the Bishop tonight to talk about it with them. he can do it for free. All they need is a marriage certificate which only costs 61.50 from the local court house. And we can get them married! It's going to be an interesting week! haha hopefully we can get this done because she's soo ready to get baptized! She very well could be by sunday as well! We'll see how it goes!
Other than that our other people are coming right along too, but Marisella, Chiante, and the twins are the most progressing and are closest to baptism.
Elder Hartt and I are doing great! We're excitd to be serving with each other!! Chad, you asked about transfers. There will be a transfer a week from today. I will let you in on a secret, Elder Hartt and I are going to be staying the same this next transfer! I'm stayin in the 3rd ward to finish off and Elder Hartt will be my last companion. It's going to be awesome! I wouldn't finish any other way! The work is going soo well and I love having this opportunity to be so close with President Bowen. I'm getting to be soo close with him. He's truly an incredible man. I can't wait for you to meet him!
So this week we have Elder Kopishke from the 70 coming! He's going to train our mission for 2 days straight! The first day will be the north half from 11am to 5pm and then next day will be the south half. Then saturday we are having a special zone leader council with Elder Kopishke where he will be insructing us. It will be us, the zone leaders, President Bowen, and Elder Kopishke. It's going to be awesome! Ha it was fun, we helped President arragne his entire stay in California down to every minute. It's going to be awesome to be with him! This is going to be a week of learning and being spiritually fed!
I wanted to express my thoughts about the "homework" I gave you before I close.
I noticed that there are 3 main points in each of their conversions.
1. Personal Communication with God
2. Sincere Repentace & Submission to the Father
3. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who knows what the communication was like for Alma and Lamonia when they were laying "as if they were dead" they very well were talking personally face to face with Jehovah himself, or one of his disciples. Or in the case of Enos, that communication was simple prayer and prompting.
Each individual felt sincere desire to be forgiven and to change. To align their will with the will of Him who made them. They submissed all their desires and passions to Him. Kind of what we know to be the law of sacrifice, like we learn about in the temple. Devoting all the we've been given to the building up of the Kingdom of God.
In each case, they expressed that it was recognition and faith in the Savior that had the power to change. The Lord told Enos directly when he asked "how is it done?". "faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
These different principles are the formula to personal conversion. In each of our lives we at one time or another have(and if we haven't, definitely should very soon) sought personal conversion to the Lord and His gospel.Our experience is no different than any of God's children. We each plead with the father for a confirmation from the Spirit, we turn over our will, and have faith that what we're doing is pleasing in the eyes of God. When we experience the "fruit" of how we exercise our agency, we gain a testimony of the divinity of the truths we have been taught, and have acted upon. I'm grateful to have a testimony of the gospel! I'm grateful to be on the earth at a time where there are prophets who guide us. I'm grateful to be in a family that taught me the gospel "in word and in deed" my whole life. Thanks to each of you for your example and wisdom.
Alright you guys! I love you so much! I pray for you everyday! I miss the heck out of you! I still can't belive how fast time is flying! I'm sprinting to the finish and making you proud!
Dad, last round of Chemo!! You got it! Hold Fast!! Stay strong!! You're at the final stretch!! The 9th Inning!! I love you!!
Elder Keyes
Elder Keyes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keyes Family + Lewis Family + all you other people!!!!
What's up!!!
How are you!?!?

I am attaching some audio recordings from my companion's voice
recorder! haha they are kind of weird and we're super dumb on them,
but it's still kinda fun to listen too! They will get better in the
future I promise! haha

I cannot believe it's already time to do e-mails again! It's crazy how
fast time is flying by! I can't even believe it you guys!
The cold stint is over with here is so. cal! We're down to 80-90
weather every day, with not a cloud in the sky! About 2 weeks ago
there were some great Santa Ana winds comin through that cooled things
off a bit and there were a couple sprinkles which meant we got to see
clouds!!!! You guys!! Clouds are soo awesome!! Never take for
granted...granite...clouds!! But now we're back to no clouds and
perfectly sunny again. Just like usual! haha the awesome thing about
fall is that instead of the 95-110 range, we're down in the 80-95
range instead. Depends on the day.

We had some awesome stuff happen this past week! I don't really know
where to begin, I figure for the most part you guys will all learn
about my mission when I chime in on like every conversation and
say,"When I was on my mission...." and then I'll spout off some story
that you guys haven't heard. I'm totally going to be that guy that
refers to his mission all the time. I'm chill with that cuz quite
frankly, my mission is the best so it's cool!

Ok I wanted to say something before I forget. But You know that big
crazy building looking thing off the 15 by brigham city where we wrote
"Welcome Home Elder Lewis" and stuff? that'd be pretty dang awesome if
yall did that! That'd be really sweet!

So a little bit about what happened this week!
Presdient was in San Diego for a big Mission President Seminar all
week until Saturday. Immediately after he got home he called us up to
meet with us. He's on fire! He was so inspired by the Seminar and
wanted to share with us everything while it was all fresh on his mind!
It was so awesome!! I actually sent chad the audio recording of it.
Elder Hartt bought the voice recorder and we've been having some great
fun with that! But President talked about how in his training, The
GA's talked all about the Book of Mormon! It was really inspirational
to hear because we were already planning on training our mission on
the Book of Mormon in the month of November! Training the missionaries
on the importance of the Book of Mormon, how we use it, the power that
it has in conversion to the gospel, and everything else that it does!!
He was absolutely on fire! He asked us to do some pretty crazy stuff!
He wants us to decide if we should split our mission or not, and if we
should create an asian mission! Haha some heavy stuff! The GA's at the
seminar told all the Presidents that their compliment would be met by
springtime, so that means within 3 or 4 transfers our mission will
grow by 100 missionaries. So crazy. It's cool to see how the Lord has
kind of prepared us for this. We already have worked out a lot of
areas to create and split. things are falling into place! We have
recieved heaven's help in preparing for all of this! It was a really
spiritual experience this morning taking some final moments of study
to prepare for zone leader council in 2 days. It's all on the Book of
Mormon. The spirit was nearly talking audibly to me this morning. He
was working with me so smoothly that my studies for training the
mission just flowed. The promptings being recieved were clear and
simple to follow. That's one of the greatest things I've learned on my
mission is how to recognize the Spirit. Probably one of the hardest
and most important things to learn in life. When we focus on
recognizing the Holy Ghost and His influence, we can more fully
fulfill our purpose and find greater happiness in life,and Heavenly
Father has a greater opportunity to guide us in our decisions.
Something we all long for! I'm excited to continue to learn to
recognize the Spirit throughout my life. I feel like this is only the

We are having a special zone leader council this wednesday! Normally
our councils are the first tuesday of every month from 10am to 3pm.
This council will be Halloween night from 5pm to 830pm. haha We have
no other time available to do it. Next week we are booked because
Elder Kopischke from the 70 is coming to train our mission wednesday
thursday and friday. When happens for zone leader council is, us and
Presidnet & Sister Bowen train the zone leaders, and they in turn,
train the rest of their zone the very next day about the things that
we trained them on. It works really well. That way the information
recieved from Priesthood keys (Presidnet Bowen) gets to the
missionaries as quick as possible so that they can apply the
inspiration he recieves. The brethren know what their doing when they
organize this stuff or something :). We figured we wouldn't have too
much important stuff to do Halloween night anyways! haha it's a pretty
weird night to be a missionary! I remember last year when big rob and
I were on bike and we got around 2 million shouts of ,"Nice
costumes!!" haha. We'll see what craziness happens this year. Anaheim
is full of crazy people so we'll see what's up.

We taught Marisella this week! She's so golden its rediculous. We
taught her the Plan of Salvation. She ate it up! Loved it! Asked
awesome questions! At the end we asked her if she would pray to know
if it really is God's plan for all of us and she said,"Well...I don't
think that I need to pray. It would not make sense, because I already
know that it is true. Why would I pray to know something is true if I
already believe it? I feel that it's true! I feel it in my heart! I
can feel it right now!" Soooo awesome. She came to church with her
daughter and loved it too!

We also got in contact with Chiante and Kennedy again. (the samoans
that are way golden) They've been on a trip for their anniversary and
they got back last night! Chiante texted us like 8 pages about all the
things she loved from her reading assignment. (we gave her Mosiah 18
to read) She absolutley loved the chapter. She said it really spoke to
her and she knows that it's true and said she feels really good about
baptism. She's actually been telling everyone at her work about her
baptism and inviting them to come. We assigned her 3rd Nehpi Chapter
11 to read. And we're meeting with her this week.

Taught brother Kor. He didn't come to church last week, but he read
the first 8 chapters of Nephi instead. It's hard for him to understand
scriptures since he has no reigious background whatsoever, so we took
the time and read 3 nephi with him and really broke it down and talked
about it with him. At the end of the chapter he was really feeling the
spirit wether he recognized it or not. he said,"Wow, this really made
sense to me this time. I really hope that this is true cuz that's
incredible." So cool to hear. He's at the baby stages of gaining a
testimony for himself. he's such an awesome guy.

John Bennum came to church! He's an awesome guy. He's a few bricks
short of a full pallet, but he's still a good guy and pretty sharp.
It's tough to teach him because every lesson goes the exact same. He
brings up the same stuff and says the same stuff almost word for word.
We recorded us teaching him this last time actually! I sent it to chad
as well!(the reason i sent it to just chad is because some of you
don't understand 2012 technology things like "zipped" or "compressed"
folders. i'm sure he will find a way to share it with everyone). We'll
record more actual lessons and send them to you! It's pretty cool!

Man we are so blessed with awesome people to teach!! I love every one
of our investigators. They are so solid and so much fun to teach and
to be around!! Heavenly Father really has blessed us alot! Elder Hartt
and I are loving life!! He's the man! There's not a missionary in this
mission I'd rather be with than him. We're getting along great!
Tomorrow morning we're going with President to pick up some new
chinese missionaries (their transfer cycle is different than spanish
and english. normal transfers aren't for 2 weeks). It's going to be
fun! It's super weird being at the airport. It feels more like a
cemetary when we go. But it's still fun to get the new greenies!

Things are happening here! We have so much going on and so much to
do!! There's never been a greater time to be a missionary than right
now! The Lord really is preparing hearts for great things, member or
non-member, he's preparying souls for big things to happen. I can feel
it! The Spirit is really working with people all around us! I hope
that each of us are praying to recognize the Holy Ghost everyday. When
we not only pray for experiences, but pray to recognize them, then we
have the edge up on seeing miracles take place. I have a testimony of
that. I believe it with all of my heart!

Dad, the pictures of that machine you were hooked up to are nuts!!!
That thing looks crazy! When I showed Elder Hartt, all he could say
was,"Man! Your dad looks so tough! What a boss!" Yup! that's right!
Keep hanging in there dad! You know you're in my prayers and in the
California Anaheim Mission's prayers! I love you!

I want to leave everyone with a reading assignment! And I would love
to hear your thoughts on this assignment in your next e-mail!!
Preach My Gospel mentions "The Doctrine of Conversion". I have studied
this in depth on a couple of occasions and would like to get your take
on the doctrine of conversion. If you wouldn't mind reading the
conversion stories of Enos(Enos 1), Alma the Younger(Mosiah 27), And
King Lamoni(Alma 18).+ any references you would like to share with me.
I would love your take on what the doctrine of conversion is.

Alright you guys! there are others waiting on this computer!!


I love you so much! I can't believe I have 7 weeks left! Seems unreal.
I miss you!
Elder Keyes

Oct 24th

Family!!! Hey!!!
What's up!?
Your e-mails inspire me!! I'm very grateful for all of your love and support!
I apologize for not getting an e-mail out until today. This week was
temple week! Elder Hartt and I attended the temple yesterday! It was
my last endowment session on my mission. We will be going to a sealing
in November for Elder Hartt's converts, but it was the last endowment
for me. It was very special! I gained an even greater testimony of the
fruits of the spirit during this session. It was an awesome lesson
about peace that the spirit brings. I've never been, and probably
never will be busier in my life as I have been these past days and
this past week. There are a lot of things happening and I love every
minute of it. At the temple, it was a very special time, it being my
last endowment on my mission, so it really meant a lot. It was an
incredible experience and I hope to go through the Newport temple with
you all when we come out. It has kind of become my home in a sense. No
matter where I've been transferred to or who I'm companions with, I've
always gone to the same place to go to the house of the Lord. And that
is the Newport Beach Temple. It's become even more holy and sacred
ground for me and this Temple will always hold a special place in my

Okay I'll start with the big news. This is something that we have to
keep super confidential out here. Only President, Elder Hartt and I,
and our housing coordinator know about this. Here's the story in a nut
shell. Monday night we got a call from President Bowen at about 8
saying, "I need you to come over to the mission home, we have some
work to do and I need your help." We had no clue what was going on.
Let me briefly explain something first. Our mission has a compliment
of missionaries. The compliment is 180, meaning there are always
supposed to be 180 missionaries at a time in this mission. Within the
180 are divided among all the 8 languages our mission speaks, 7
Korean, 7 Mandarin, 7 Vietnamese, 4 Asl, 4 Samoan, 5 Tongan, and the
rest are divided among all the Spanish and English. (by the way, our
mission, though it be the 2nd smallest in the world, speaks more
languages than any other mission in the world. The next highest is
Hawii). So right now in the mission we are at 165 total missionaries,
so we are a little low for our compliment of 180. SO! Now that that's
established, here's what happened. We get to the mission home and
President explains to us that he got an e-mail from the general
authorities that our mission is going to be growing. That by that
night we needed to find room to fit 70 more missionaries by the next
few transfers! Our compliment was raised to 250! With no negotiation!
And we had to find out what the individual compliment was going to be
for each language and find areas that all these new missionaries would
serve in and do it all between the hours of 8 to 11 that night!! In
Salt Lake they get about 700 missionary applications (papers) a week.
Since the Prophets call to drop the age for men and women, They now
receive 4,000 a week!!! The young men and women are responding to the
Prophet's call! It is an awesome testimony, they also said that half
of those applications are from sisters!! Crazy stuff! So every mission
compliment in the whole western United states was doing what Elder
Hartt, President Bowen and I were doing on Monday night! haha We were
at President's house til about 10:50 when we finally got our
compliment recommendation sent off to Salt Lake. It was nuts, but it
was the funnest thing!! We busted out our mission maps and went to
town on splitting areas, and creating new areas to accomidate all
these news missionaries that will be coming in! That's soo huge!!! In
the coming months, our mission will grow by nearly 100 more
missoinaries!! That's such a big step!!! We got to help make some
history! It was awesome you guys! haha I love it!

We had a big night!, the next morning(yesterday) we woke up at 5:30 to
arrange for a new korean missionary coming in. He's actually from No
Town as well! He knew Brooks and has seen the show play at assemblies.
His name is Elder Hogge! He's our newest missionary! We picked him up
at the airport with President, and brought him home and trained him
for a little bit, then took off to the temple! haha it's been a very
busy past couple days. I love doing all of this with President and
Sister Bowen though. I've become pretty close with both of them, they
are like family to me out here. I can't wait for you to meet them!
They are incredible and I love them both dearly!

Ok! So now I'd like to report on Elder Hartt and I's missionary work
this past week!
We currently have a total of 7 invesigators with a baptismal date!
That's the most I've ever had on my mission. We found 4 new
investigators! Things are definitely happening here! Our mission is
still on fire too! The mission has over 100 people with baptismal
dates, found 150 new investigators, and taught over 700+ lessons to
investigators this last week! The mission is on absolute fire! The
missionaries are obedient, they are fulfilling their purpose and it's
such an exciting time to be here in the Anaheim California Mission! We
are breaking records and the baptisms are starting to come in! It's
been such a cool thing to be apart of, President told us,"I'm so
grateful to be with you both at this time, when things are happening
like they are. I've never seen the mission with so much energy. The
Lord has really poured out His Spirit on Anaheim and this is
incredible to be apart of. I've never seen the mission perform as well
as it is now."
On Sunday, we taught a lady named Marisella. Remember Edward? We
baptized him in September with his mom? Marisella is Edwards aunt!
She's been taught before by missionaries, but she's been busier than
ever this past year, they opened up a zumba studio that keeps them
busy all the time. But we finally got in contact with her, and we're
going to start teaching her now. She's awesome because after Edward's
baptism she told Elder Sumsion and I,"I'm next! I want to be baptized
next!". We taught her the Restoration. She already knew most of it,
and had really awesome questions! The Spirit was way strong and the
lesson just flowed so smoothly. At the end we invited her to be
baptized. She said,"Yes I want to be baptized..." then began to cry as
she told us "I've known this is true for along time, and for some
reason I have let myself put off getting baptized, but I know that I
need to and this is the time. So, whether my husband wants to or not,
I am going to get baptized and start going to church."
...yeah...solid. She's getting baptized November 11th. We're exctied
for her. She really is such and awesome lady.

We also saw our other golden investigator, Chiante. The samoan one. We
talked to her briefly the other night and she said such an awesome
prayer at the end of talking with her. She asked us if she could pray,
then said that she didn't really know how and asked if we'd teach her
how. After we taught her, she said such a beautiful prayer. She told
us,"I'm sorry I've been so busy. I know I need to make time for you to
teach me. I promise that I will be more commited. I want to get
baptized and I want to do that while you are both here, so before you
leave Elder Keyes, I'm going to be baptized!" She's like the only
person that I've had to tell her how to pronounce Keyes only once!
ahah. With some people I have to explain every time, take of the K and
you get -eyes, so now just throw K in front of it. Keyes. it's not
rocket science!

I got a call last week from Brother Postil!! From La Habra!! He called
and informed me that he hasn't smoked in over a month since his
surgery and he's going to be baptized on November the 10th!! And the
sweet part is he asked me to baptize him!! I'm so stoked for him!!
He's wanted to get baptized for almost 2 years now!! I'm so grateful
to be apart of it!!

Also we are teaching two little twin girls who are getting baptized
November 4th! Their names are Jaquline and Jerissa! Next to Tessa,
they are the cutest little girls I've ever seen! They are excited to
be baptized too! With them, we are also teaching another little girl
named Safara. She's black! She's getting baptized on the same day as

Ok I'm sure you're eyes are tired from looking at the computer screen
so long! haha sorry this is kind of a longer e-mail.
Dad had a good questions I wanted to answer!

Do you think the curiosity/interest in the Presidential race (Mitt
Romney) is sparing interest in the church or is it something entirely
different? I’d be very curious to hear your thoughts on “why” you are
seeing such a huge movement forward.
- I know for some baptism in the mission that has been the case!
Actually one of Mitt's closeset counselors got baptized in Irvine 2
weeks ago!! Mitt was actually plainning on going to that baptism, but
couldn't make it.
As for what I've seen come of that, people will ask us all the time
what our thoughts are on him, but we're not allowed to talk about it
too much. It has definitely softened the hearts of some people. We'll
be tracting and they'll say,"you know boys, I'm not interested in what
you have to say, but I'm voting for Romney!! He's the best guy for the
job right now!!" haha so that's nice. But we definitely have had some
stories in this mission of some doors being opened because of Romney.
So yes! I think it does.
I think the biggest reason we are seeing the movement and growth in
the mission is because of the missionaries. They are taking all the
training and stuff to heart and have internalized their purose as
missionaries. They are obedient and doing their best to follow the
spirit, and when that happens, the Lord can use us. We are just the
vessels. We have great leaders in the mission who are setting an
awesome example and other missionaries look up to that and pattern
their work after that. So now because of all this things are
happening. The train is on the move!!

You look good dad!! You really do!!! Even if you don't get to come to
the airport, you best believe our first stop will be at huntsman. I
don't want you to risk anything by coming to a filthy airport. I want
you there and I know how badly you want to be there, but if it's going
to put you at a big risk and it wouldn't be good for you. I am more
than willing to work with whatever the situation presents. I don't
want you to be anymore hurt, or go through any more than you're going
through. With that, I'll be home Decmeber 18th, most likely will be
between 9-12 in the morning. and I'm excited to see the family that
day, Airport or not. Hang in there dad. The mission is still praying
for you.

I love you guys so much! I miss you! I'm still sprinting to the
finish, but at the same time I'm excited to see you! I can't believe
how short time is. It's crazy!!
Elder Keyes