Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Baptism and Training New Companion Again!

November 24, 2014

Dear All:

This week was really good, but my companion will be going home. I don’t know what my companion situation will be like, but I really really hope I get to keep training someone. I love being a papa. But we did have a lot of good success this week. Edwin came to a baptism with us this week to see what it’s like, and he loved it. I asked him if it’s something he’d like to do, and he said yes! He chose to be baptized 13th of December! Now we just need to work on his wife. She’s a little bit tougher.

Also I’ve been like inadvertently learning some really deep doctrine of the Church, which is really exciting. I don’t think I’ll post my thoughts about it because I figure people need to figure some of that out for themselves because just straight up hearing it doesn’t work. But that’s sort of what comes with studying the scriptures all the time, especially D&C. 

One day all of our appointments feel through one day so we decided to look for people who live close to our house because that’s what president told us as a mission. I started talking to this lady in our street for about 5 minutes, and I had talked to her kids a lot before. She invited us in and corralled all her kids and we had an awesome first lesson, and they all accepted baptism! Now we just need to put dates with them. But it was so awesome because she was like “my kids were just baptized in the Catholic church like a few months ago, but I feel like we should all get baptized in this church, this sounds really true,” and she was like paying a lot of attention in the lesson so that was awesome.

Obdulia is still coming to church so she’s on track to be baptized. We also put a baptismal date with her daughter Jessica, but she didn’t come to church because her husband wouldn’t let her. I’ll have to talk to him.

Things are really picking up. Sometimes I wish our success was more rapid but like mom said, I’m a fisher and I have a lot of friends who are hunters, but I’m really glad to be a fisher because reading emails from the U.S missionaries makes me really happy to be here where people really want to listen. But there are lots of trade offs: we get more investigators, but they get cars, ipads, clean water, washing machines, bikes, and they don’t get diarrhea as often as we do, infections in your toes from investigators digging out a ingrown toenail, etc. ahhaa It’s really not bad at all here. I love it there aren’t many days where I actually feel what I’m doing is hard because I love being here and I love what I do. 

I’m gonna share a spiritual thought in Spanish now, I guess.

como les dije he leído El Libro de Mormón, Doctrina y Convenios, y Jesús El Cristo, entonces ahorita estoy estudiando la biblia (nuevo testamento) porque el antiguo seria bien difícil. Pero hace mucho tiempo encontré una escritura que se encuentra en Marcos 6: 5. que habla cuando Jesucristo fue a predicar en Nazaret pero la gente le rechazó, y en 5 dice ¨y no pudo hacer allí ningún milagro, solamente sanó a unos pocos enfermos, poniendo sobre ellos las manos¨  pues podemos ver que Jesucristo mismo no pudo obrar ningún milagro entre las personas que no creían, entonces, aprendimos que Jesucristo, el hijo unigénito de Dios no puede hacer milagros cuando las personas no tienen la fe suficiente. Entonces hay una razón porque fe es una de los primeros principios del evangelio, Porque sin la fe no tenemos nada y no podemos recibir ninguna bendición. 

(i wouldn’t put that into google translator because its translates in word for word which will mess up the meaning in English)

Things are awesome here I love the mission, but time goes by really fast which is kind of sad because I love being here. I’ve got a Josh Groban Christmas album on my ipod so I’m getting ready for Christmas already. Thanksgiving isn’t really a thing here ahha. I miss you guys a lot! I hope everything is well. That’s crazy Josh will be back so soon. I’m excited for him. Also I forgot my cord for my camera this week so photos will have to be postponed again! 

Love you all!

Elder Latimer

December 1, 2014

Hey! That’s awesome that the Seahawks, Dawgs, and BYU won! Great week for football. I was in a trio for only 3 days with the other Elders and a super cool RM who has only been back for a month offered to be my companion for these next 2 weeks until we have transfers. AND I CAN’T SEND PHOTOS. They’re all here on my camera but it doesn’t show up on any computer because some guy that works at these internet cafes like killed it. I might just mail my memory card or something like that. I can see the pictures when they’re on my camera but not on the computer.

This week was pretty great. We started this really cool church initiative that you guys probably know about. In Spanish it’s called “Él es la Dádiva.” It’s a video about Christmas and why we celebrate it. And for this video were supposed to have like 10 street contacts every day and report on the numbers. Also the Church bought YouTube for one day to advertise the video and also a huge screen in Times Square for all of December. It’s estimated that if we have these 70 street contacts a week well have 15 converts this month. 

We taught Rigo last night. He’s super awesome. We taught some of his friends with him, and he’s basically a missionary and helped us teach a lot. He’s been going to institute, and stuff like that, and he wants to be baptized 13th of December so we’ll be seeing a couple of baptisms soon! President almost closed my area because I couldn’t find a member to be my companion. He called me and told me that, then immediately after this RM offered to be my companion! It was awesome, but it’s kinda weird because his girlfriend is in our ward ahah. I think I’ll get to train again. I really hope I can train Kaleb. That would be the coolest thing ever. 

Thanks to this new church initiative we’ve had a lot of new lessons, and awesome contacts. This is like part of the second coming. How the whole world will know who Jesus Christ is. It’s cool to be a part of it. Not a lot of crazy stories this week. Except for it’s a new rule in the mission that we have to wash clothes by hand so that sort of sucks but it’s really not that hard. I did eat cow stomach soup this week. It doesn’t taste bad but its uncomfortable chewy. And this morning I ate cow stomach and throat tacos. It was actually really good haha. 

It’ll be weird this first Christmas away from home but the time goes so fast I’ll be home soon haah. It’s just weird being here because it doesn’t feel like Christmas because there’s not like a lot of lights and music, and snow like there is at home, but that’s okay, I’ll get used to it.

Miss you all take care.

Elder Latimer

December 8, 2014

Dear Everyone:

That’s super awesome that Josh came home. I was thinking about that a lot this week. It’s so crazy it seems that he just left. But I’m also approaching the halfway mark soon. Time flies here. I don’t know it if does there. But it’s a pretty common thing to work with a member when your comp goes home here. Lots of missionaries have done it apparently. We are having lots of success in our area!

We have two baptisms programmed for this Saturday, Rigo and Edwin. Rigo is super freaking awesome. I was nervous we weren’t gonna be able to teach him all the lessons in time for the baptismal date he chose, but I went with a member to teach him (because my comp got permission to go play with his fam that day), but we went and he learns so fast. He just kept saying “what more should I know, I want to know more?” So I taught him ALL the lessons in like 2 hours. It was super awesome. I’ve never taught a lesson like that before. And one of his friends from institute is gonna baptize him so were really excited for that!

Edwin is progressing a lot. It’s kinda sad because his wife is kinda shy and isn’t progressing a lot, but I think his baptism is the thing that will get her going. He is also going to be baptized this Saturday too! 

President says we have to wash by hand so that were not a burden on the members, but the other Elders in our district are changing their house soon to a house with a washing machine so well get to wash with them! ahah. I have a lot of funny stories this week that I forgot to tell you guys. 

1: There’s this drunk guy that’s like always unbelievably drunk, but he actually knows a lot about the bible so it’s really funny to talk to him. I’ll list some of his priceless quotes here

·        “If anyone ever disrespects you tell me, and well come shoot them up! (makes ridiculous drunk pistol actions with his hands)”


·        “I’m not gonna lie... (looks ashamed), I’m a little bit drunk...” (no voy a mentir, ando pistiado)

·        GIVE ME A WORD! (we start to teach him) NO SHUT UP I KNOW EVERYTHING”

2. There’s this hilarious kid named William, who is 4 years old who is the kid of a member family. He always runs out and screams “LATEEEMERR” when I come to their house and hugs me. This Sunday I asked if his grandpa was home so I could talk to him. William said, “yah, follow me!” We went to the back of the house and his grandpa is sleeping in his rocking chair and William smacks his grandpa super hard on the chest and screams, “ABUELO!!!!” His grandpa just about had a heart attack and feel out of his chair ahahah.

3) I had to fart really bad after eating in the house of a member, and I told one of the Mexican elders when we were washing to dishes, and he was like, “dude just do it.” I said, “no, it’s gonna be really loud,” and he was like, “be a man, do it.” So I did this really horribly fake cough to cover it and I probably lit off the loudest fart ever in their kitchen hahahaha. It was so funny but no one heard because we were laughing so hard ahha. Not very missionary of me but it was very necessary. 

I’ll send my memory card home soon because it’s frustrating that I can’t send the pictures. The mission is going by really fast, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get to train Kaleb. I’m not sure what else there is to tell here. I want to send Christmas gifts home to you guys but I’m not entirely sure how to here, and if there’s any specific things you want? I’ll probably send some really cool Mexican tops, you can to way cool tricks with them like pick them up and stuff. 

It was an awesome week though. Miss you all. Love you all!

Take care!

Elder Latimer

December 15, 2014

Dear Everyone:

I’m training again! His name is Elder Lindeman. He’s from North Carolina. He’s pretty cool, so I’m excited to train again. As you can see from the pictures, Edwin got baptized! It was awesome. It was a super awesome experience. Hopefully his wife will follow soon. I think so. She just doesn’t like pressure and ultimately has to make the decision for herself.

Were gonna have some more baptisms really soon. Rigo said he knows that the church is true and everything and he wants to be baptized but he wants to wait a week or so more to do it because he wants a stronger testimony about the prophet and the Book of Mormon. So thats okay.

I do have access to skype here. I just have to figure out which member family were going to visit to do it. A couple have offered so it’s a possibility. Just send me your skype address, and I’ll call you guys. I’ll figure it out later on exactly what time I’ll call. But it shouldn’t be a problem.

This week was pretty cool. We went to a huge mall and sang Christmas hymns for like an hour there were a lot of people there. It was an awesome experience. There was like 100 of us, and that’s only the missionaries here in Culiacan. It’s crazy, I already have 8 months and I SPEAK SPANISH. I had that realization today when I woke up. I’ve been able to speak Spanish for a while now for like 5 months. But I just had an epiphany, and was like, “Wow, I speak 2 languages so that was mind blowing.”

I want to send stuff to you guys for Christmas. I have stuff I’ve bought. I just have to figure out how to do it, so they will probably get there late so forgive me. But I have these really cool tops that have these really long strings you wrap around them to make them spin. They’re super sick and I can do super awesome tricks with them like throw it up in the air and catch it in my hand and bounce it off my knee and a whole bunch of jazz.

I miss being home in the cold for Christmas with all the lights and music. Christmas is different here, so it’s easier not to miss home because there’s not a lot that reminds me of home so that’s good I guess.

Nothing really crazy happened this week. It’s always really fun though. Just thousands of little things I love here that I can’t list. I love being in the mission. It’s unbelievably fun. It’s just awesome being friends with all the missionaries.

Thanks for writing and I’ll keep looking out for the packages that you sent. 

Love you all! Take care!

THE Elder Latimer

Monday, November 17, 2014

October and November in Mexico; More Pics; Training a New Missionary!

October 20, 2014

Dear All:

This week was pretty productive. I feel like so much goes on here I can’t communicate all the thousands of hilarious or weird stories I’ve experienced. For about every story I’ve shared with you there are like 10 more just like it. ahah. So I get kinda frustrated writing letters because I want to tell everything but it’s basically impossible. 

So I got my first ingrown toenail this week. It was gross. I’ve never had one before so we went to an investigator’s house and I told her about it and she said she could take it out. So stupid me decides it’s a good idea. She had me soak my foot for like 20 minutes in water and there were like some small swimming worms in it but she said it doesn’t matter. Then she like stabbed me in the toe for 20 minutes with nail clippers, like really deep under my toenail to get it all out. It was hilarious because my comp almost puked. ahahah. Then she poured alcohol on it and today it’s like inflamed and I don’t know. If it’s worse tomorrow I’ll go to the doctor. 

The people are pretty fond of me here, especially our investigators. We have a few that always tell me they hope I don’t leave this transfer, which makes me feel bad because my companion never really talks, so I feel like he doesn’t care about them as much, which kinda hinders our progress. I’m sure he does, he just doesn’t talk so it’s hard for people to get to know him. 

Also we’re totally poor because the elders we were with wasted all of their money and so did my comp. I had like 2000 pesos yesterday but I had to pay their bills and all this crap. I’m getting a reimbursement for it, but it’s annoying because now I have like 200 pesos to my name. ahah. It was funny because I went to a little store (which are like all over Mexico). They’re called tiendas. Anywho, I went there to buy breakfast and my comp tried to buy something and I kinda grilled him in front of the clerk. Ahah. I like yelled at him in Spanish telling him he’s poor and wasted his money so he doesn’t get to eat. ahhah. It was kinda mean, but I’ve paid all the bills and all transportation this change, so I feel like I’m justified in it. ahah. 

I also gave my first talk in sacrament meeting, and I told a really cheesy joke in Spanish. And I told this joke before in a baptism and everyone laughed so I figured I’d try it in a different ward. ahah. It didn’t work. Everyone was silent.... Then I said in Spanish, “It’s funny. Laugh.” Ahha. Then people started cracking up so that was hilarious. But I spoke about diligence, and I talked about the Savior’s life and how he spent 3 days walking to be baptized and a bunch of other stories and how he told Peter to feed his sheep 3 times. I think it went pretty good. 

I’ll write about our investigators when they’re approaching baptism. We have like 2 baptismal dates right now, but we teach a lot of people and I don’t wanna describe all of them. ahah. There’s nothing I really need for Christmas. More ties maybe, and new boots. I wear my boots like every day here because the streets are horrible and the hills are really steep so it’s kinda impossible to wear normal shoes. 

Ben wrote me. Ryan hasn’t for a while I’ll write him today again. Things are good here. I’m just nervous about my toe. I feel like it might keep me from working. Also president just put a rule that we can’t play any sports until he says anything further. But that’s okay because it’s impossible to play sports in this heat. But yeah, Elder Blodgett (other missionary) and I found us a house and we’re gonna move in this week. So well finally have some space. The district leaders told me I’ll probably train someone this next transfer so well see.

I feel like the missions in the states are like a whole different world from the pictures I see from Jordan and Jared and Josh. But things are really good here. Too bad about the Hawks and BYU (football). Kinda disappointing. 

Love you all!

Elder Latimer

October 27, 2014

My feet are totally fine now! Thank goodness! I went downtown with the mission doctor and we saw some podiatrist, I think. But yeah she like cut my toes open with a scalpel and took out two pretty huge nails from inside my foot. It really didn’t hurt that much, so that was awesome. Then I could walk perfectly immediately afterwards so that was awesome. 

I was poor for so long, because my companion blew all his money like the first 3 weeks. Then he always says he doesn’t have money and randomly takes out 50 pesos when were in the store, which makes me mad because I’m pretty sure he’s got like a secret stash of money and made me pay for a bunch of stuff I didn’t have to. It’s kinda hard working here right now, and I’m definitely passing through some trials right now. Because the area is new, we don’t have any materials, a fridge, and I had to buy an iron and toilet paper with my own money this week because we moved into the new house even though it basically doesn’t have anything. But the mission is gonna pay me back.

It’s hard working with Elder Z. because he told me he doesn’t wanna be here. So he doesn’t have a lot of desire to help people or help me. Like when we teach lessons it’s basically me, and I have to verbally ask him to help me in the lesson or to testify. But I’m trying to help him get excited about the work, but he’s kinda a buzz kill. But I’m staying positive. Also he like never responds when I try to start conversations with him. He just grumbles or says, “uh.” 

But the district leaders told me that they think he will probably leave the area and I’ll train someone new so well see about that. I hope I get to train Kaleb Decker. That would be amazing! These  P-days have sucked because were not allowed to play sports for a while because a missionary broke his leg and got sent home so president is paranoid for us. So we literally just sit inside eat candy sleep and study. It sucks because I can’t to the gym either because they don’t open early enough in the morning. 


Marco, Darían, David: Awesome family of a less active member. David is only 6 though, but he’s hilarious and Marco is like 11, so they remind me a lot of Jonathan and Jace. They have very similar personalities. They always ask me about when were gonna have transfers cuz they don’t want me to leave. ahah. We have cool handshakes and everything. Marco is on track to get baptized in a few weeks, and Darían is too, except for she always says I don’t wanna get baptized because then I’ll have to read the scriptures and go to church. She’s so freaking lazy. But she’s awesome because she still does all that anyways. 

Obdulia: She was a street contact and she adores us. We brought her to church this last week, and she loved it and wants to keep going, and she has a baptismal date in November as well. Her family loves us too, but they don’t really listen when we teach, they just love to talk. They’re really friendly and stuff so it’s hard to get them to listen to a lesson. But yeah, they invited us to a theme park and to go to the beach with them, which sucked because we had to explain to them we couldn’t. Also we got invited to the birthday party of her niece so that was pretty fun too. Ahah. The whole family loves us so they’re very fun.

We’re not teaching a whole lot of people cuz the area is still really new, but these are the investigators who are really promising. 

The joke (in Spanish) doesn’t really translate, but I was talking about Jesus walking from Galilea to Jordan to be baptized, and how it’s a really big distance, and we know that John was called John the Baptist not John the Taxi Driver! It makes more sense in Spanish, I’ll write it below. 

Jesucristo caminaba desde Galilea hasta Jordán para ser bautizado, la cual es una distancia muy grande, casi igual de Culiacan hasta Mazatlan, y sabemos que el hombre que bautizó a Jesucristo, se llamaba Juan el Bautista, y no Juan el taxista.  

But yeah things are going pretty decent, I guess. Time’s passing really fast. I really miss going camping, that’s what I would say to missionaries who are about to hit the field. Go camping before you leave. ahah. 

I miss Halloween! It’s like my favorite holiday, but “dia de los muertos” is pretty big here. It’s like bigger than Christmas. Ahah. Also in my next package could you guys print out like a lot of pictures from like my whole life or at least cool moments with the family, vacations and stuff like that and sports? Because like all the Elders have like their life stories in pictures, and I’d like to have that too. ahah. 

Love you all! Miss you!

November 3, 2014

Things are going better. I’m kinda forcing my companion to talk more. Ahah. I kinda have to straight up say, "hey, it’s your turn to talk now." Haha. But some days are better than others. People keep telling me I’m gonna start training soon, so I’m kinda hoping we have changes. But I’ve definitely learned patience, and how to be humble with my comp. Because he’s the senior comp, but I literally do everything. All he does is carry the phone, and I tell him who to call. haha. But he’s getting better.

This week was pretty average. Drunk people really like to talk to us. We taught like 3 super drunk dudes who were crying. One got really mad at Elder Z. because he interrupted him, then he told Elder Z. that hes’ not a representative of Jesus Christ. Then Elder Z. got super mad and actually started to talk but I had to cut him off and tell the guy he misunderstood because he’s super drunk and stuff. Ahha. I thought they were gonna start throwing fists in the street! 

We had some really good lessons this week and Obdulia came to a baptism with us because she wasn’t gonna be able to go church. We’re finishing up the lessons with Marco and Darihan, so they should get baptized this next week!  I feel like I have a really good relationship with all our investigators and all the members so I’m pretty content in this area.

The only thing that sucks is that we basically have nothing to do here because we can’t play sports, and we need permission to leave the area, so for the past like 3 weeks we haven’t done anything.

Not a whole lot of interesting stuff happened this week. I’m about to finish all of the standard works in Spanish. I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish a month ago, and I’m almost done with the D&C. I’m pretty proud of myself because I understand all of it too! And I’m like half way through Saint Luke in the Bible. I’ve read Jesus The Christ, Our Brief History, and Our Search for Happiness. I just have to read the Old Testament. That’s gonna be a doozy . That’s crazy Josh is coming home soon! The time really passes quickly. I’ll be home before I know it the time literally flies by. 

I had a random thought last night about Calvin Song. I want to write him if you c ould get his email that would be great! And just post a general thing on FB to write me cuz I’d like to see letters from random friends I haven’t talked to in a while.   

For Christmas I’d just like some  ties, cologne, new boots, a straight razor like James Bond. I wanna learn to shave with one and I almost bought one today ahha.  ALSO WE HAVE MONEY NOW! So that’s awesome. No more being poor for me!  I’ll see Kaleb Decker in a few weeks then! Ahah. I’m pretty stoked for that. I’m gonna go to the offices to see him when he gets here. ahah. 

Everything here is pretty great. My comp doesn’t really  talk, even in the house. Well he does a little bit, but I basically talk to myself and babble, and say random stuff like I always do. I’m writing a “Corrido,” which is like one of those cheesy Mexican songs you hear in La Palmera. I’ll have to sing it at Christmas. OH, I want a t-shirt with Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson on it for Christmas. ahah. 

Hope everything is going well! I’ll write Joe right now!  And also Tyler to see what’s up!  Tell him to check his email! 

Also these pictures are from Halloween and the day after ahah.That’s the toilet in the middle of our street – only in mexico... The members are super tight! There’s this one family I’ll have to write you about next week, but they’re hilarious, and I’m getting the accent down! The other day I got told that I don’t have a gringo accent at all, so that’s an improvement!

Love Elder Latimer

November 10, 2014

IM TRAINING A GRINGO! I’m gonna go get him tomorrow from the offices. Needless to say I’m beyond stoked. President Velez capacitated us today on our responsibilities as trainers it was pretty awesome. He really stressed the importance of being a trainer, and when all the missionaries go home they always say that their trainer affected them the most.

But I’m super excited to train. I feel like it will be super awesome and amazingly fun! We had a great day we found some super awesome people who all want to be baptized! I want to explain more but I don’t have a lot of time to write and my freaking keyboard is retarded so it’s like 1000 times harder to type. And I’m kinda bummed because our investigators who were all ready to be baptized had to move because their lights got cut off, and we kinda lost contact with them. But it all happens for a reason, I suppose.

I have awesome pictures to send and this computer sucks monkey butt so I’m bummed about that too. I don’t know what to really write right now. I usually write a lot. My ingrown toenail is growing back but that’s okay because I’m going back to the offices tomorrow, so I’ll ask the doctor. I was supposed to go get my fingerprints today for my visa, and I freaking called the offices to find out what time like 5 times, and they never answered. I figured it was for the transfers. I’m just bummed about the pictures. But I’m super stoked to train so everything is great. Everything right now is just like disorganized.

I’m glad everything is going great with you guys! People start Christmas here really early people already have lights up. The time here is passing so fast. JOSH COMES HOME SOON! That’s cray. It seems like he just left. I feel sorry for dad cuz he’ll have to edit this email. Ahah. Miss you all hope everything is going good. I really wish I could explain more from this week, but oh well there’s always next week.


P.S. I’ve lost like 20 pounds since I got to Mexico because there’s nowhere to work out, and we walk for like 10 hours a day up hills in super hot weather. Ahah

November 17, 2014

This week was pretty great. My companion and I get along great. He’s a good guy and a hard worker. We have a lot of fun together especially with the other missionaries. I feel likes its crazy how much Spanish I speak now compared to when I got here. I wouldn’t consider myself fluent, but I’m very, very comfortable now so I consider that a huge blessing from the Lord to be able to speak comfortable and express myself clearly.

I’ll talk about some of our investigators this week:

Rigo: Teenager who is 18 years old. He’s super awesome and wants to be baptized and serve a mission. The only thing is we can only teach him like once a week, but he learns really fast. We took him to a fireside for recent converts where the stake presidency talked and so did President Velez. He loved it. He got a picture of the temple in Hermosillo. He said he wants to share his testimony with everyone after he gets baptized so he’s super awesome

Edwin y Alma: A young couple sort of. They’re super awesome. They’ve been getting to know the church for a while now. They know a lot of missionaries, and Edwin wants to get baptized but his wife isn’t sure yet, but we have had a couple very spiritual lessons with them recently. I’m sure she’ll get an answer to her prayers very soon. 

Obdulia: Shes pretty awesome and is like 46 or something like that. She’s super friendly and cool but has a tough time coming to church. She’s gone before and came with us to a baptism, but she doesn’t have like really strong desires to go. She wants to go but has a lot of reasons not to, like work and visiting with her family and stuff. 

All the people here are super nice an stuff though. We’re visiting with a less active named Edgar, and he’s super friendly and wants to take us fishing! So that would be really cool to do because theres not a lot of cool stuff to do in our area. 

Things are going great with my companion Elder M. He’s from Utah. It’s really fun training, and I get to see all the progress he’s making. It’s weird to think I just finished my training, and now I’m training someone. Time goes by so fast. This time we have to serve is very short. I also finished D&C in Spanish the other day! So that was a milestone too. Now I just got to read the Bible. ahah. Old Testament is gonna be a bugger to read in Spanish.

I feel like I have gotten a huge testimony and knowledge of the scriptures from my mission. I’d share some spiritual insights, but I don’t know which one to pick. I love teaching people because I can apply scriptures I learn every day to different people so that’s a huge blessing, and it also helps me to really learn the scriptures when I teach with them.

Things are great here. Not a lot of crazy stuff happened this week, just getting settled in, and we have furniture and food and all the stuff you need to live now so that’s great. Elder M. is pretty cool. He’s one of those missionaries that I feel like wed be friends outside of the mission too so that’s awesome. I just feel bad because the other Elders are both Mexican so he kinda feels left out when we talk because he doesn’t quite speak Spanish yet. I remember feeling that way, but I think it will help him learn faster.

That’s so sad about Oliver!  I thought his leg to cut off at first! I almost freaked out, also I’m super bummed again right now because this computer almost erased my photos, and it won’t let me send any again. So be expecting a lot of photos next week. Next week give me like a question to answer in Spanish so I can think of something to write in Spanish for you guys! Miss you all! I’m excited for Christmas though even though it doesn’t get cold here. The weather is pretty awesome now though, but still not cold at all. Just refreshing. 

Love you all take care!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Baptism and New Area!

Guadalupe's Baptism!

Hurricane Watching


September 15, 2014

Dear Everyone:

This week was so awesome!

We got permission to go to the Mexican night at the stake center which is basically their 4th of July so it was a big deal. There was food and lots of traditional dancing, and singing. I have lots of videos but I think they’re too big to send right now. But Mexicans party differently than we do, we left at like 11:30 and our zone leaders where there until 12 or later! Ahha. When we left everyone was still dancing and partying. I don’t think they get tired. 

The next day we went and visited a less active family that’s super awesome. They’re almost considered active. But I’m really good friends with their son,Toto. He’s 24 and was a pretty hardcore gangster but he wants to serve a mission now. He was in jail for 4 years for grand theft auto and has been out for 8 months now. But he’s super awesome he taught me like 100 slang words so I can talk like a cholo now. But obviously I don’t talk like that here but when I get back home I will. 

We were talking about pranks we pulled in high school and stupid stuff we’ve done and it slowly escalated to him telling us about crazy stuff he has seen in the prison here. And the prisons are horribly corrupt. About 50% of the police are under the pay of the cartel if not more. But people have guns inside, tons and tons of drugs, xBox, and cell phones. So it’s not really a prison, it’s just a place where they put bad people. There are not really restrictions, and visitors are allowed to walk around the entire prison freely. So it’s very different.

He started telling us some of the messed up stuff he saw. He told us about how one time the police arrested some cartel members that are from a different state, so they’re the competition of the cartel here. And they brought them in, and he watched and heard them get tortured and decapitated in prison, and how a 14 year old girl who was visiting cartel members in prison watched, and he had to go in to the block of the cartel members and get her out. Then his mom started breaking down crying, saying that now she knows why Toto gets so angry and wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and why he punches walls, and struggles with drugs and alcohol, because she never had heard any of these stories. 

Then he started crying which was really surprising because he’s a pretty tough guy, and then they all started hugging and crying and saying they love each other and stuff. It was like a really hardcore episode of Full House. But it was really awesome to be part of that experience. We’re pretty close to them. They’re like a Mexican version of the McArthurs, and by that I mean that they’re an awesome family who we always hang out with. 

We had a lesson with Guadalupe, our investigator who is going to be baptized September 27th.  She has all the lessons and everything and is really ready and willing. She’s like 45 and sells candy to the kids from her front porch. She’s super sweet but learns a little slow, but she is super awesome! We started asking her who she wants to invite to her baptism, friends or family and stuff like that. She said it’s not important she just wants us to be there because were like her family. It was probably the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. Then she asked me to baptize her!!! So I’m really excited for that, and a little nervous, because it’s the last day of the change, and I’m afraid something will come up and well postpone it, and then I’ll get transferred. But I’m praying that I get to be here long enough to do it. 

Things are super awesome here, and I’m super excited for my first baptism! There’s a hurricane here right now. It’s not hitting very hard here, but in Los Cabos nobody has power. ahah. But I think I’ll get transferred after this change, but nothings certain. Also my Spanish has gotten a lot better. When people guess how much time we have here people have been guessing that I have a year in the mission. So that’s kinda a confidence booster. 

Don’t send peanut butter. I can buy it here. I know its heavy. You should just send me cool stickers for my binder and my scripture cases. I like the Seattle ones that Josh has on his laptop. Also don’t let the boys download stupid games on my laptop please! ahha 

Love you all and hope all is going well! Take care!!!

Elder Latimer

September 22, 2014

Dear All:

This week was pretty normal and slow. We did have stake conference, which was awesome. Elder Villalobos of the Seventy came and spoke. He’s such an awesome speaker. Pretty fun. I also found the coolest pitbull with a little story behind it. 

Some recent converts of the sister missionaries live directly in front of us so we eat with them every Friday this month. She gave us a reference of her sister that lives in our area that has cancer. And all the directions are horrible here. The houses aren’t numbered in numerical order and a lot of the streets don’t have names. haha. But we were looking for her and were kinda frustrated because it was really hot and we couldn’t find the house so we stopped to rest under a tree for a few minutes. Right after we passed this old lady on her porch with this huge pitbull. I have this thing where I contact anyone that has a cool dog by starting to play with it. I asked her if it bites and she said no so I started to play with it and started talking to her. We talked for a little bit then I asked her name and turns out she was the person we were looking for! So that was cool.

Anyone that owns a cool dog here is just asking to be contacted. I think like 40% of my street contacts have been through dogs. So that’s awesome!

We still don’t know about changes because there was a hurricane in Los Cabos. So president rounded up all the missionaries over there and put them in La Paz (other part of Los Cabos). We heard we might have changes 2 weeks after the change but who knows? We went to the offices today, and I get along pretty well with the office workers. They’re super funny and one of them told me I’m gonna be an office worker next change. And that freaked me out because I don’t wanna work at a computer, but afterwards he said he was messing with me. I sure hope so!

Everything is going pretty great here. We have a couple more baptisms lined up in a few weeks so I hope I stick around for one more change to see them get baptized. And everything is going great for Guadalupe. We showed her and her crazy neighbor (the crazy lady just comes over uninvited that President Velez said we shouldn’t teach her anymore but its whatever) the restoration movie. And the streets are really loud here and there are no noise laws here so people just blast music all day long. But we got to the part where Joseph Smith rebukes those guys in the jail for talking about killing Mormons, and the whole street went totally quiet. Ahaha. It was super cool. 

There’s not a whole lot to talk about this week. We did find a half dead mouse in our house. I say half dead because we have this stuff in the air in our house that kills cockroaches, but it doesn’t completely kill mice all the way. So we poked it with a broom and it would like breakdance and walk really drunkenly. Then we picked him up in a dustpan and he waddled out of it and fell and died on our floor... His name was “German.”

I also found a really little gecko during our planning session. I named him “Jerard.” Then let him go in the house so he could kill bugs. Then the next morning I found him dead and shriveled up because it’s so hot ahah. Sad day. 

Not a whole lot of new stuff going on. I have a lot of cool videos but they’re too big to send… so that sucks. I hope everything is going well! Tell the McArthurs and the Litchfields I say “hi!” So glad the Hawks are still good! But they’ll probably be mediocre when I get back but who knows! haha 

September 29, 2014

This week was pretty awesome and really busy. We were running around like crazy doing everything. We bought a cake for Jose because it was his birthday so that was awesome, and we had the baptism! So that was pretty cool. 

It was really funny because I guess here in Mexico people like splash themselves crazy with water before going completely under to avoid going into shock or something like that. But she randomly started doing that in the baptismal font, then inhaled a bunch of water and started coughing like crazy. Ahha. It was weird but the rest was really awesome! And I have two nice sets of scriptures because they give you nice ones in the MTC. So I decided to give them to her and I marked a couple of scriptures I liked and gave them to her with a note on the front page.

Also I got transferred to a new area called Libertad. I’m still in Culiacan, and I’m opening a new area! Were kinda lost right now because we don’t have a house, cell phone, map, and very little reference and members in our area. But were gonna work hard. I’m with Elder Zuniga. He’s from Florida but his family is from Honduras so he speaks Spanish perfectly. We’re gonna live with the other Elders for a few days until we find a new house. 

Elder Moya told me I’ll probably train someone soon so hopefully I’ll get to train Kaleb when he gets here! Well see but President Velez usually has the trainers chosen 3 changes in advance so who knows. 

We went around the area saying goodbye to all of our good friends, but we only got to see Toto and Guadalupe, which was kind of a bummer because no one else was home. But the family of Loisa Beltran (tjey live in front of us and are recent converts) Invited us over for dinner and made a little banner thing for me and Hermana Ramos because we were leaving the area. 

It’s pretty exciting to be opening an area though, I’m moving up in the world over here. I’m kinda glad to have a new comp though. Elder Moya is really cool but he’s a slob and never cleans up. So I ended up doing all the cleaning but hopefully Elder Zuniga is different. 

Both Bryce and Kaleb emailed me so that was nice to hear from them, You should tell Madison Fleming to write me too. I haven’t talked to her in a while. Also keep bugging Ryan to write me ahah and Jeff and Alex.  and Ben. 

But that’s all that’s going on over here! Glad you’re all doing well. Also the Hurricane hit really hard in Los Cabos but here nothing big, just rained hard for a day or 2.

Love, Elder Latimer

October 6, 2014

This week was pretty weird, but it was fun. My comp is a “pocho,” which means he’s of Latin descent but he is basically a gringo. He spoke Spanish before the mission and he’s from Florida.

We did get to watch General Conference live in the stake center, and we got to watch it in English, but when the Spanish speakers started we ran to the sacrament meeting room to listen in Spanish. My Spanish is getting really good. When I tell people how much time I have in the mission they always say, “but you spoke Spanish before didn’t you?” So that’s a good sign I’m getting better. 

We’re still living out of our suitcases in the house of the other Elders, but they’re really cool and it gives me someone to talk to someone. But it sucks living out of a suitcase. But we did find a house in our area so well be moving in this week. My area is a Pueblo, which means it’s like a lot of houses close together and its pretty dangerous from what other missionaries have told me. But I’ve already made a couple of friends who are “cholos” ahah. It’s not too hard because my cholo friend in my other area taught me all the slang in Spanish. So I use it with them, and they trust you more when you talk like them.

There’s a member family here that is AMAZING. They don’t have a whole lot but they’re like the most awesome members ever. They help us so much, and always try to feed us. They told us whenever we don’t have anything to eat or if other members can’t feed us, that we should ask them with all the confidence in the world to eat at their house and they will always feed us. The dad also gave us his work schedule to see what hours he can come visit people with us! He also has like 1000 hilarious stories, and cool little tricks that he teaches us. 

Also the picture below is a LIME! It’s like the size of a bowling ball! I’ve never seen a lime that big. They have so many cool different types of fruit here that we don’t have in the US. There’s so many stories I have that I want to tell, but I don’t have time. I have like 1000 hilarious short stories ahah.

I’m glad everything is going well! Also in Conference I thought President Monson was gonna give us some crazy new doctrine because everyone kept talking about the importance of following the prophet no matter what. I’m sad conference is over. It felt like I was back home watching it.

I don’t like it actually takes that long for stuff to get here, so don’t worry. Usually we get our packages in our zone meetings because the zone leaders will go grab it all from the offices and bring it to the meeting for us. So I’ll probably do that. 

Miss you and love you all! 

Elder Latimer

October 13, 2014

This week has been kinda nanners. Lot’s of really weird stuff. It’s really fun living with 4 Elders, but I would like more space, and a place to put food. And my package got here! Thanks so much for everything it was awesome!

This week was crazy. We were walking in our area to an appointment and we see a bunch of smoke like a house is on fire. So we get closer to our appointment and our investigator is outside screaming "Elders! Elders! Help me!!" aahha. She tried to set some trash on fire and lit up this whole plot of land where a house should be. hahha. So we spent like half an hour putting it out. ahha. 

We have some decent investigators, and all the kids here know us already so that’s good. ahha they always come out and want to hang out with us when we pass by so that’s kinda cool. It’s still kinda tough here because we don’t have any materials or anything or a cell phone. But we’re working hard, and I think were gonna see a lot of success soon.

We had a weird experience today. We took a taxi with all the Elders in our district to go bowling, and the cab driver asked if we could say a prayer with him after he dropped us off. So we said, “Okay, why not?” Then he was like, “I’m gonna stand in the middle of you guys and pray.” Then he started praying to the grim reaper or something weird like that. It’s like the Saint of Death that all the drug dealers worship ahah, so that was kidda funny.

Also I’ve been getting kinda worried because my big toe on my right foot has been hurting a lot lately. Like when I step on a rock wrong or side step or things like that. It definitely feels like it’s the bone and not a muscle. I don’t know because I know you both have that same problem. 

Also I started talking to this one guy who works in a little store in our area. We talked a little about the U.S and Mexico. And he started saying how corrupt the government is here and that’s why Mexico sucks. Then he was like "look at all this trash in the street, the government doesn’t do anything about it!" I was SOO tempted to say, "Oh does the government drive by in front of your house every day and chuck a bunch of trash in the street and speed off?" ahah But I decided I shouldn’t say anything. But it’s true, everyone here just throws their trash in the street, then they talk about how dirty Mexico is, ahha. 

We also had a shaving cream fight during divisions, ahah. 

Here’s my letter to Jace: 

Hey are you a girl or something? I’ve learned so many crazy tricks here in Mexico. I’ll have to teach you all of them when I get back. You would like it here there’s lots of kids your age that are always playing outside and the candy here is super awesome and cheap. I’ll have to send some home for Christmas! Tell me how you’re doing!

My Letter to Jonathan: 

Hey man! How are the Seahawks doing? When does the new Madden come out? How’s XC? What’s your best time? I hope everything is going good. There are some crazy people here, and like a thousand dogs in the street. Some of them try to attack us so we have to throw rocks at them a lot, haha, but a lot are really nice. Hope you’re doing well!