Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Off to Culiacan, and a couple of updates from the MTC!

We had a chance to talk to Jake when he had a layover in L.A. on Memorial Day.  He sounds great.  He was traveling to Culiacan alone (which is unusual for a missionary), but he sounded upbeat and happy.  We assume he arrived safely Monday night and is now testing out his new-found Spanish skills somewhere in Mexico!
May 17, 2014
Dear All:

That’s awesome your [Mom’s] foot is doing better! Josh has been telling me funny stories about making his companion eat a pound of Reeses's and 28 slices of bread and a whole ice cream sandwich in one bite!

Things are pretty normal here, we have an investigator named Javier. He’s a an actual non-member, and he says he was impressed by our Spanish. My companion, Elder Kester and I have been getting that a lot so it’s nice to know were progressing. He has a lot of questions and is a professor at USU so he always has a lot to contribute to the conversation, but he can ramble on. Sometimes our lessons with him are usually an hour and a half when they should be 45 min.

But yeah, I leave for Mexico in 9 days! Kinda bittersweet. I’m gonna miss all my friends here, but I’m excited to leave the MTC. I got my travel plans. I leave here at 4:30 in the morning and I fly from SLC to LA to Culiacan. I travel all alone because I’m the only missionary in the entire MTC going to Culiacan! I’m gonna die over there. It’s been over 100 degrees for the past 6 weeks, and it’s only gonna get hotter! But I’m pretty excited. We did get new missionaries in our zone this week they’re all pretty cool. Not a lot of interesting stuff this week. Our teachers bought us krispy kreme doughnuts because were special.

If you could send my Husky shorts that would be amazing, also my glasses before I leave would be great too. Um…the shirts you gave me the arrowhead ones (dress shirts) fit perfect around the neck and chest but they’re like a foot too long so I don’t know if I can get them hemmed or anything or just have to deal with really long shirts.

Sounds like everything is great at home. Any news for the NFL draft? New pickups for the Seahawks?

Pretty typical week though. Sorry for the short letter. I’m gonna miss the elders in my district were all really close, which sucks. I just hope I don’t get a square for a companion.

I didn’t know you were recording me when I spoke Spanish! I dont want people to make fun of my poor grammar, but I’ll come back speaking like a gangster I think. Any who, hope everyone is doing well! 

-Elder Latimer 

P.S.  Also, L. Tom Perry and his wife came and spoke to us! We’ve had 5 apostles now, crazy! I hope president Monson comes this week, but I doubt it. He’s a busy guy! Anywho, that’s all! 

May 24, 2014
Dear All:

That’s so sad about Jace [little brother had a problem at school with a bully]! Make him take wrestling and teach him to punch kids in the face! He's too nice to do stuff like that though.

I did get the package. It’s in my classroom right now. I didn’t have time to go through it right now but I will in a little bit! I forgot my stupid adapter at home again! So I don’t know if I’ll send pictures this week. I have a lot of good ones for all you to put on my blog and everything.

But yeah I leave the MTC at 4:30 a.m. and my flight is around 8:45 a.m. to LAX and then I have like a 5 hour layover until I go to Mexico. So I’ll call for a while during the day and stuff. Maybe you could give me Ryan’s phone number too and I’ll call him. I think that would be a cool surprise since I have 5 hours to kill.  I am traveling alone. It says on my itinerary I’m the only missionary on the flight. That will be weird not having a companion.

It’s so crazy I’m almost done at the MTC already. It flew by for me. My Spanish is getting better and I’m so excited to serve people down there. By the way, if you send packages use the U.S postal service and not Fed Ex or private companies because they get searched more heavily at the border. So if you send things use the U.S postal service. It still takes a while to get there. Also, put a picture of Jesus right over the seal of the box, and maybe like cheesy Christian stickers on it. Our Mexican teacher says that discourages 95% of people from stealing your package, and it actually makes it get there faster in a lot of cases.

I’m gonna miss my district and zone everyone is so awesome in it. We all get along great. I’m gonna right most of them. But yeah our Mexican teacher Hermano Arce says that the people in Mexico LOVE missionaries and they treat you like general authorities and apostles. He says that the Elders don’t gain much weight it Mexico, but the sisters do because the members feed them like they're grown men.

I get to Culiacan about 7:00 pm on Monday, I’m so excited! I’ve been walking around the city via Google maps and I love it! It’s pretty ghetto, but I have a really good feeling about it. Our teachers have told us lots of cartel and gang stories, like people dropping grenades in the streets and having 50 cal turrets in the back of pick up trucks and just spraying at other cartels. But they love the missionaries! They protect them and stuff because they’re very God fearing and go to mass and everything so that’s good for me! Apparently, they're really big into the Angel of Death, which they kind of use to justify their killings, but our teacher said it’s basically Satan.

But anywho! I won’t tell you about stories like that once I’m there so I don’t make you worried. Unless you want to hear about them! In that case I’d love to share any and all things! But I’ll try to keep it as spiritual as I can! What I’m most concerned about is the heat, but I’ll survive! Sounds like everything is great at home! Love and miss you all!

-Elder Latimer 

P.S.  Elder Bednar came and did a surprise devotional! It was insane. He did a Q&A it was awesome. I’ve got to see an apostle every week since I’ve been here! It was so funny. One sister asked about specific scriptures saying that women couldn’t hold the priesthood, and he was like, “There are 15 living scriptures (the apostles) and you’ve got one right here.” Me and my comp were like "OOOOOOHHH PLANCHAR!" which in Spanish is like the equivalent to a “burn” ahha. But it was pretty funny. He then went into an awesome explanation why. It was basically that the priesthood is an umbrella and everyone under it gets the blessings. The men just have the job to hold the umbrella. There was more detail than that but I don’t feel like explaining it all. Very cool week here though. People say that me and my companion are really great at teaching together and were very unified and have a strong spirit about our lessons, which is really cool to here. Anywho, that’s the little bit I forgot to write about.  

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