Monday, November 2, 2015

Serving as Zone Leader in New Area!

August 24, 2015

Dear Everyone:

SOOO I got deported, sort of. But it was a huge long trip we took 6 airplanes. And slept very little. We went from Culiacan to Mexico City to Phoenix to El Paso, to Dallas to Mexico City and back to Culiacan. Super tiring but very, very fun.

We probably slept a total of 10 hours over the space of three days. But it was cool because the guy from the Church immigration department we went with it super cool, and we had tons of fun. Also there were 2 other elders that came with us from other missions in Mexico who had the same problems.

But when we got to Arizona we all wanted to see the temple, but had very little time so we paid a taxi guy to take us, and we literally ran around the temple taking pictures. Then we went to Deseret book so we could catch our flight on time. It was super fun though. Our taxi driver was from Ghana and we invited him to come check out the visitor’s center with us and he loved it. 

Then we went to El Paso and the whole process with our Visas took like half an hour ahah it was easy. So we went without sleep to go check out the city so we went to a museum, out to eat at a bunch of places and I bought a bunch of candy at Walmart to take back to Mexico. Also we stayed in a super nice hotel. We had a great time, lots of laughs, jokes and pranks. Also like I said we didn’t sleep very much so that might have been the cause. But it’s really funny because in my visa picture you can tell I didn’t sleep well. I have this super ticked off sleepy face ahhaah. 

Then our flight to Dallas got canceled so we had to wait another 5 hours in the airport, so we went out to eat again... ahah. I sat next to two Mexican ladies on the flight to Mexico City, and we talked for a while. I got to tell them about the temple in Mexico City and that they should check it out because they have the open house these couple of weeks. 

We were actually going to go check out the open house but our flight got in late. But even better we got to sleep on temple grounds!!! The MTC used to be there so we slept there and took a bunch of sweet pictures, even though we couldn’t go in it was a really fun experience. I also bought some stuff from Deseret book for my district

It was a fun trip everything went well and IK got my visa so I’m no longer illegal! But it was nice being in the U.S but it was weird because in Texas, no one spoke English!!! ahhah We went up to ask a lady in the street if there was a restaurant nearby, and she didn’t understand a thing we were saying so we had to ask her in Spanish aha. But it was super fun. 

Apart from that nothing really big happened this week. Just traveling. We spent most of our time in airports, so that sucked but it was a very memorable experience. I have tons of pictures I’m gonna send you guys. 

Also the only thing I could think about when I was in the U.S was "It’s so awesome here!!! It’s so clean!!!" ahah one Elder that was with us was dying of heat when we were in El Paso, but me and another elder from my mission were totally fine because were used to it ahah. So being in a hot mission has perks. Not very many but it has some. 

I love and miss you all!! Take care!

Elder Latimer

August 31, 2015

Hi All!

This week was pretty calm. We had changes and I’m staying here the area with my son, so I’ll get to finish training him. I’m kinda hoping to get out of the city for once for my next change but we’ll see, I guess.

This week was pretty calm, had some "progress" with our investigators. ahha Eduardo brought his dad to meet us who just got out of jail (just one night) because he was hitting his wife. And we taught him and he was pretty receptive. It was a good lesson and he wants to change, the best part was that Eduardo helped us teach his dad and explained stuff to him

But they didn’t come to church because they keep leaving to El Dorado every few days to take care of some family stuff so they’re pretty hard to find. We’re still looking for lots of new people but it’s kinda hard. But that’s sort of what missionary work is. 

We had some crazy flash rainstorms, its rains really hard here and the drainage system sucks so the streets flood all the time. So we got super wet last night, and a member rescued us in the rain and gave us oatmeal and pancakes to eat so pretty successful day. 

Also someone or something killed a cat ripped it into pieces and threw it on our porch. It could have been a dog, but also people here do that a lot. It’s like a kinda of witchcraft ahah so hopefully were not cursed.

Also there’s a cursed tomato in our house. Every 2 or 3 days this tomato appears in the exact same place on our kitchen floor!!! But I think it’s a bird or an animal that’s getting into our house. But it’s crazy because it leaves the trash and everything else alone, it takes out a single tomato and eats it on the floor and leaves.

But it’s more fun the think that it’s haunted. 

Well apart from that nothing really happened this week. Hope you guys let me know what’s been going on. Also if you could send me some videos of my wrestling matches that would be cool like the one of my senior night!!!

Love you guys hope everything is good!

Elder Latimer

September 7, 2015

Dear Everyone:

Pretty calm week again. We had lots of fun though. We did divisions with the assistants, and I was with E. Padilla. He’s from Lehi, Utah. It was super fun. We stayed up to late talking, and we both got the cold. But it was totally worth it. I love my district we get along really well. 

Today I got to hang out with the Lizarraga´s so that was awesome. They brought breakfast and took us to a park to eat it. We played some fun games and hung out and talked. Kennedy has the priesthood and blessed the sacrament last week, and Wendy and Chantal both have callings in the Young Women so that’s pretty awesome. The mom says she will get baptized when I come back after the mission to visit them. The problem is she is waiting for her husband to accept so they can get baptized together, but he’s busy. I hope they get baptized soon.

We also met a gay guy from Seattle on Sunday! What a small world! ahah He started talking to me in English and invited us in to teach him, but we didn’t because it was really late. He’s pretty friendly. We’ll have to see if we go back. In the day time obviously ahha. He’s got a sweet beard and crazy long hair ahahah. 

I know it’s crazy. I’m almost at the 18 month mark! But I don’t get trunky. I work hard! I really don’t think there’s a whole lot of stuff I need, maybe some new socks, Nike ones if you can, because we started going to a gym, and I don’t like going in church socks and the rest have holes in them. 
The assistants had a baptism this week and I got to interview the lady. Her name is Maria and we sang this sweet version of "I need thee every hour" and it was awesome she cried! I’m not sure if it was because we were good or really bad. I hope it’s the former. 

Also I feel like I’m getting sent far away this next change because I have been in all the stakes in Culiacan ahah. So well have to see what happens. It’s not that I don’t like Culiacan, I just want to get to see other parts of the mission. I’m good friends with the assistants so let’s see if I can’t pull a few strings. ahah

Everything is great here, working hard, hoping to find a new family to teach. Times going by pretty fast. I really can’t think of anything I "need" also the summers not even over. September is the hottest part ahah Sometimes it stays hot until December so I’ve still got a ways to go but hopefully October will be cooler. 

And I totally forgot it was Labor day. That exists here but it’s in july. I laughed really hard when I learned about it. I was like work day? And no one works? What kinda sick joke is this! And then my comp was like “dude its labor day”... ahhah totally blew my mind. 

That’s crazy Joe is going college. I’d like to room with him. I’m really not sure still where I want to live. And Elmer’s married and so is Michael and Jeff is planning it. ahah I feel old. But it’s cool. Jeff already told me he’s gonna wait for me to get back. You guys need to send me pictures of the weddings if you have them on Facebook.

Love you guys!!! Have a good week!

E. Latimer

September 14, 2015

Dear All:

Crazy stuff going on at home! Joe at college. Jeff getting married! I’m missing everything but that’s okay because Jeff said the wedding is May 15th so I’ll be there! I’m pretty stoked for that. Sounds like the house will be really quiet. I hate getting news about that kinda stuff. You guys are "trunking me out of my mind" ahah Not really.

This week was chill. Not a whole lot of crazy stuff happened. We fasted twice so were hoping to see some success here. This area is a lot slower but that’s okay. We talk to a lot of people but people here down town are way more Catholic than other people here. Probably cuz there’s like 5 huge famous Catholic churches here in my area ahah. 

But it was fun. This drunk guy invited us into his house and gave us juice. So that was sweet. 
Also the rededication of the temple in Mexico City was this week so that was awesome to see. I had never seen one before. We also got to watch the cultural performance. I basically got to watch the rededication twice because Pres Eyring and Elder Holland would speak in English then it would get translated! So basically, I watched it twice! Not really.

This week was really calm. Really not a whole lot to report. It rains really hard here, and out of nowhere, so well be walking in the street and then suddenly it’s a river, and we have to hide or walk through shin deep water. Their drainage system here sucks. 

Today we went and played pool ordered a pizza and a member from my other area is gonna take us out to sushi later. So it’s pretty good down here. Except for I work hard and these new shoes I bought like a month ago are already getting worn out. Freaking lady lied to me in the store. 

I feel like not a lot goes on here in this area. But that’s okay. I’m sure something cool will happen this week. It’s weird though that everything is changing at home. 

Also this family that we baptized in my other area want to get sealed in the temple in SLC so that’s awesome hopefully I’ll be able to be there. They have callings and everything, the mom and dad just need to get baptized. The mom wants to but she’s waiting for her husband. But it’s such an awesome family, we’ll have to come back here in a year or 2 so you can meet them. 

Any who that’s about it for the week. Also if you could send me some books that would be sweet. Any or all of the following
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (not the sunday school one)
·         Articles of Faith James E. Talmage
·         Great apostasy
·         house of the lord

Love you guys! Take care. Have fun in Europe! 

Love, Elder Latimer

September 21, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This week was pretty calm and hard. There were 2 straight days of no work and just us walking in the streets because it was the Mexican independence day (so every one was drunk for 48 hours). They shut down everything except for the hospital basically. Also we woke up at 5:30 in the morning to go run to the gym, and we get there at like 6 to find out that it’s closed to that sucked. 

We found a couple of people to teach, so that was nice but our numbers aren’t so good so its kinda frustrating because we fasted twice this month, but have had 2 horrible weeks. But besides that we actually are super happy and having a lot of fun. 

We’ve started using the family history thing to contact people so far it hasn’t worked out, we had 1 really good contact using it. I feel like well have some success here real soon and have a sweet experience. This has been one of my more difficult areas but I feel like I’m learning a lot. 
We have a lot of fun here though. The assistants are awesome. We joke around a lot and always hang out on p-day. There’s really not a whole lot to talk about this week, just working really hard and walking a lot!

I’m already getting ready for Christmas. I don’t think I really want anything. Maybe just some church books. I’m good on ties. Who knows? 

Jeff wrote me and wants me to be one of his groomsmen so I’m excited for that! Alex says he´ll probably be in the Air Force by the time I get back so that’s a bummer. I hope not. 

I feel like my life is super boring here because I never have any cool stories here. I think I’ll probably get transferred this next change so who knows? Sorry I really have nothing to talk about. 

I’m super jealous about your trip to Europe. Maybe you could send me something from there for Christmas! But you’ll have to send me lots of pictures!

Well that’s about it! Love you guys lots!!!!

Elder Latimer

PS: as far as the new apostle goes..... I would say Elder Jurgen Blurger, that Swedish guy who totally grilled everyone a few conferences ago, saying that if you’re fat, stop being fat and go run. ahhaha But really I have no idea. 

September 28, 2015
Dear Everyone:

First off I’m super jealous and EVERYONE who has written me today is making me super trunky! ahaha I hate it. But that’s okay it looks like you’re having an awesome time in Prague! I’m super jealous. That place is ancient! I would love to go there. I want to go the mass here but I’ve never been invited and I feel strange going with my companion as missionaries. 

This week was great. We played basketball and soccer today! Presidente Velez finally gave us permission so we played for like 2 and a half hours so were super tired but I was ridiculously fun. I’ve missed sports a lot. Come to think of it we’ve had some really funny experiences but I always forget to tell them.

1)      We ordered pizza the other week and they usually put your number and address in their system so that they don’t have to ask you every time for your address, etc. But we ordered from a new place, and the girl asks me "Have you ordered here before?" And I said "No, we always call better pizza places but they’re not answering." haha She got all quiet, like it was something personal ahah.
2)      Also we taught a less active but really active member ahha. But he always likes talking about the second coming. He said that all the destruction and calamity that its mentioned in the scriptures is gonna come from flying saucers and aliens and he’s gonna enlist himself in the army of God. He said a ton of crazy stuff. I was like, "Well, it clearly says here....." but he wouldn’t buy it ahah. Then he told us that our idea of the second coming was really abstract and unrealistic ahahah.

Things are pretty calm here it was a fun week were talking to a lot of people in the street so that always brings interesting experiences. A recent convert took us out to dinner so that was sweet and we brought 2 investigators to the general women’s session.

I would like to room with Joe and Tyler. You can sign me up, and I’ll see if any other guys wanna join me. Send me the info please. There’s only 1 buddy that wants to room with me in spring so I’ll let him know and see if he wants to. 

Also we made some really funny videos today but they’re way too long to send so you’ll have to wait another 6 months until you can see them. 

I’m just getting pumped for conference but other than that nothing really 2 more weeks until changes, We’ll have to see where I go! 

Thanks for writing. Have fun in Europe!!! 

Love you guys.

October 5, 2015

Dear All:

That’s some cool stuff you guys are doing! Things have been calm here but we had surprise changes!!! Pte Velez called me on p-day at like 7 at night and was like "Elder Latimer you’re getting changed early, it’s an emergency" He sent me to Nuevo Culiacan, so I now have 3 areas in the Culiacan stake. It’s really funny because I know EVERYONE ahaha. The only thing people said to me at General conference was "you’re still here?!?!" ahah But its awesome. I’ve been able to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while. 

Also I’m a zone leader now, so that’s exciting. It’s a cool zone and the area where I started the mission is in it. I’ve always hoped to go to the beach or at least close by, or even leave the city! But it’s okay. The Lord has other plans for me. But I really like this area, the members here are great and not old like my other area, so were gonna have a lot of success. 

My comp is E. Tapia. He’s from Monterrey. He’s super cool and we get along great. GC was awesome but Presidente Monson almost fainted in the Sunday session. He was like really winded and they had to help him get back to his chair. Kinda sad, but the talks were AWESOME you guys need to see it. They’re still not up on but that’s okay. In a few days they will be. 

Today we rented bikes and went riding around the river with our district so that was really fun. Even though the river is poop colored, we saw tons of iguanas. 

But last week, we were walking down town and it’s like 12 o clock in the afternoon and there were tons of people around. And this dude runs up fast right next to us takes out a glock and cocks it back and puts it to a lady’s chest who was right next to me. I just stop walking and kinda just stare. He stood there for a minute and just ran away. ahah Pretty crazy. Got some adrenaline pumping but nothing bad happened. ahah He’s kinda stupid for doing it in broad daylight. Then even crazier the lady chased after him! ahah Pretty funny. 

A Seventy gave a cool talk about "ponderizing" scriptures each week, so the scripture I chose to "ponderize" is 2 nephi 41. Next week I’ll tell you about my insights. 

But nothing really new, I don’t think I’ll finish in this area. Something tells me ive got one more left! 
ahah but who knows? Things are really great here. Glad to hear you’re having fun! Take lots of pictures in Paris!!!

Love you guys.

E. Latimer

October 12, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This week was pretty great did divisions with some Elders that aren’t getting along so that was fun. I really like my area, the members are awesome, and I get to see lots of people i know. It’s really fun. I know Culiacan better than most locals here hah. Every time we contact someone in the street and they tell us where they live about 80% of the time I say "Hey, I used to live there too!" ahha So that’s fun.

My companion is from Monterrey. He speaks English really well actually so I help him practice. We’re both ZLs and we get along really great, which is nice because I feel like it’s been a long time since I had a companion I really liked. I mean I like all my companions. 

We’re having a lot of success here we contacted lots and had really great lessons.  Were gonna see a lot of success here soon. We had a super funny experience (at least we think it’s funny)

We were walking and see this really dark-skinned Mexican, and we say “hi” and he looks up and has like super, super green eyes. It was kinda surprising. But the funny part is that afterwards, my companion looks at me and says "wow.... he has green eyes" and I was like "what you fall in love or something?" ahahhah I don’t know why but we laughed really hard at that. Then my comp asks me "What you didn’t notice his eyes?" and I said "No I was too busy staring at his body" ahahhaha
That’s my "Jake" experience for the week. But E. Tapia wants me to tell you that he’s not really gay... just confused.

We’ve found some pretty awesome people 

One is named Jared. He’s inactive. Because his little 3 year old girl died and he got a divorce and lost his job in a short period of 6 months. He’s the son of the patriarch. He’s a RM, really awesome but is having a really hard time. He says he knows the church is true and everything, but is still trying to heal.

He’s really open with us, but sometimes I feel unqualified to help him because I’ve never had to go through anything like that. But we had a really good lesson with him.

Also we showed one guy in the street that Jesus Christ is Jehovah. He said there’s a scripture that says no man has ever seen God, then we showed him a scripture in Exodus that says Moses spoke to God face to face. (but it was Jesus/Jehovah and not God the Father), etc. But the funniest part was when he said "but he never saw God!" and my companion says "How do you interpret the phrase "face to face"" and he just sits there for a good 10 seconds and says "Well.... you’ve got a good point" ahah we laughed all day. 

It’s awesome being a missionary. People sort of just open up to you and let you help them. I love getting to know people. It’s weird because you meet someone in the street then all of the sudden you’re teaching them and they invite you over for dinner and like 19 or 21 year old guys counsel them and guide them. Its rally cool.

I loved the pictures of Normandy. I’d love to go there someday. Crazy piece of history. I bet you can’t really appreciate the magnitude of everything that happened there until you see it, and even then you can’t understand it. Well lots of little stuff happens every day.

Also I have almost completely lost my English accent. People have started asking me what part of Mexico I’m from, and get surprised when I tell them I’m not from here. I wanna work in something where I can speak Spanish when I get back.

Love you guys lots!!! I can’t send pictures because this computer sucks! But I love you guys. Take care!!!

Elder latimer

October 19, 2015

Hey Everyone:

Hey! This week as been kinda crazy, lots of traveling. Our zone is huge so were running all over the place checking houses and delivering packages and stuff like that. I’ve been really tired lately but that’s okay. We’ve found some really great people this week so were excited about that.

We found Rudy. He’s like 55 years old and contacted us saying he wants to change. He accepted baptism and has a baptismal date for November 28th, and he came to church with us on Sunday, which was awesome because it was the primary program.

I don’t know why but here primary programs are a big deal. They send out invitations, decorate the chapel, hand out key chains related to the theme, and buy matching ties and dresses for the kids. They sort of put us to shame. But they also don’t have as big a primary as us. But it was cool.
We also are teaching a 25 year old lady named Diana. She’s awesome. She’s Christian but likes hearing us and has a really funny 3 year old daughter. During the lesson she grabs everything, name tags, agendas, pens, backpacks, ties, etc., and yells every time she grabs something "HEY WHATS THIS?!" ahah So that’s fun.

The members here are super awesome. They always come with us to appointments and the bishop is a great help too. I love areas like this where are the members aren’t spiritually dead ahah. Also the other week we taught a Jehovah’s witness family. They were pretty nice but said some funny stuff.
When we were getting to know them  and talking before the lesson, the dad who is like 65 years old told us that close by some guys kidnap kids and harvest their organs and leave them on the side of the road miles from there house. We were like “wow that horrible!” And he said "Yeah, I know. You shouldn’t put organs in other people’s bodies. They weren’t made for that." ahha I had to keep myself from laughing. Kind of a twisted perspective. Then he has daughters that are like Christian and stuff and they all started fighting in front of us. ahah. It was very uncomfortable,

Things are good. I’m enjoying the mission.  It’s really hot still so that sucks. But soon enough it’ll cool down... or so they say. 

That’s crazy that Brooklynn’s back. I remember seeing her in the MTC. How’s her Finnish? I heard that it’s a really hard language to learn. Anywho thanks for everyhing! I really don’t know what I want in the package. Maybe more pictures of us snowboarding vacations etc. a sweet Christmas tie. Stuff like that. I really don’t need anything here.

Also the family Lizarraga (converts) are doing great. They’re preparing to get their patriarchal blessings and Jade, who is 4, was able to participate in the primary program! They’re super awesome and went to all 4 sessions of general conference. 

Things are great here, miss you guys, have a great week!

Elder Latimer

October 26, 2015

Dear All:

WOW THIS WEEK WAS INSANE!!! But nothing happened with the hurricane... it didn’t even rain ahah. It was funny you guys, Josh, Jordan, and John, all wrote me asking if I was okay... Looks like Josh and them only care when I’m in danger!! ahah Just kidding. This week was really great. I had lots of fun with Elder tapia and taking stupid videos of him ahaha. 

Things are great here. We’re teaching Rudy still. He’s pretty awesome but he didn’t go to church and wasn’t there for our last appointment. Who knows why? But we had a good week we contacted a lot of people and found a great family that well start teaching soon. Our zone is awesome we all get a long really well We’re planning on going to the beach soon, maybe next p-day, so that should be fun.
I have a hilarious video of E. Tapia sleeping during language study, so I stuck a pencil in his mouth and he wakes up and almost chokes on his own spit. But it’s too big for me to send so that’s a bummer. You’ll have to wait till after my mission to see lots of funny videos I have. 

That’s cool, Mom, that you got to see Brooklynn. I’d like to hear her Finnish. I heard that’s a really hard language to learn and I wanna know how it sounds. Tell Jace to go outside and play and stop playing video games! ahah That’s good Joe is studying hard. You should send me a picture of Josh’s sort of girlfriend. I’d like to see what he’s gotten himself into.

We’re planning on going to the cemetery to contact people on day of the dead here so well see how that goes. Not too many new experiences here. Lots and lots of fun little stuff everyday but nothing really comes to mind. That’s awesome you guys are going with the missionaries to teach lessons. Members are a huge help, especially in the retention part.

Dad, I have a question, but I think I may have answered it already. Tell me if I’m wrong. Okay so to be able to sin according to 2 Nephi 2 we need an opposition. So in the premortal life we lived in the presence of God, and we know that no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. Therefore we were without or incapable of committing sin. Up until God presented the plan and after the rejection of Lucifer as the Savior and his rebellion, we didn’t have agency. Or in other words we didn’t have the opportunity to choose evil, which is why those who chose to follow Lucifer were immediately cast out of the presence of God.

That’s just my idea. I’m not sure ahah. Oh, but the question originally was: In the premortal life were we capable of commiting sin? or even after we chose to follow the Savior and come to earth, in our period of waiting to come here, could we sin or make mistakes, progress? And are our circumstances of birth or life partially based on those decisions we made in that life?

I love you guys and hope you have a great week. I’m doing great here! See you guys in 5 months!

Elder Latimer

November 2, 2015

Hi All:

This week was pretty great, we went yesterday to the cemetery to contact in the street it was really fun actually. We found some great people. None from our area but it was cool. Day of the dead isn’t as big here. People just go clean the tombs and get drunk in front of the graves, and decorate them but they don’t go all out like in other parts of Mexico, mostly in the south. But it was fun our zone is really awesome.

My trainer in the mission is getting married soon! So that’s crazy.

We had a great week. We found an awesome family. They accepted baptism. Their names are Sergio, Chayito and Luis Angel. They’re awesome. They didn’t come to church because they slept through the alarm but they said they really wanted to come and next week they’re gonna go for sure. Also Rudy said he’d give up smoking! But he didn’t come either. It’s probably cuz it was a holiday weekend. People don’t really celebrate Halloween here so that’s depressing.

Also we were fasting and some random lady invited us in to eat with her. And we said yes because we totally spaced that we weren’t supposed to eat. Then I remembered when we got inside and had to explain to her we couldn’t eat. But she let us teach her, and it was an awesome lesson. Her husband died 3 years ago and she wants to know what happens after death. And she said she’s gonna take a few days to really ponder what we taught and to pray to know if it’s true so we’ve got some potential here in this area.

It’s really exhausting being a Zone Leader. We almost never have time to sit and chill. We always have to be calling someone or organizing something. But it’s fun because we get to work with a lot of missionaries. It’s a real blessing, actually. 


We’re having lots of fun, the members are great and we’re finding new people. It’s crazy how fast time goes by. People are home and getting married ahha It seems like were way too young for that. ahahh

But I’m excited to room with Joe and Tyler. It’ll be way fun! Tons of guys from the mission are gonna be up there too so that’s exciting. I’m super jealous that you guys could celebrate Halloween. It’s like my favorite day of the year, but it was just a normal day here. 

That’s cool that Ashtin and Abby are leaving. I won’t see them for like 3 and a half years ahah, but that’s cool. Any other news from home?? Anyone pregnant or married? ahah

Thanks for writing love you guys!!!

Elder Latimer

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Deported (temporarily) from Mexico! May-August Letters and Pictures!

May 25, 2015

Dear Everyone:

Happy 25th anniversary you guys [mom and dad]! I hope you have a great day and get to enjoy it. I’m glad everything is going good at home. That’s crazy about Jonathan’s school. I don’t even understand why kids that age would do that. Plus there isn’t even racial inequality over there! Someone needs to smack those kids. That’s crazy Edmonds School District has gone off the deep end. Why would they even give those kids a microphone?

Oh well, things are decent here, Roberto isn’t doing so well were gonna go see him Tuesday to see how he’s been. The doctors say it’s gonna be really hard to treat him because apparently he doesn’t have any veins anymore from all his former drug abuse. He’s still really swollen and they can’t to anything to fix his kidneys until the swelling goes down.

This week was pretty calm. We had some cool experiences, We found a new investigator named Carelia. She moved here recently and actually had listened to the missionaries before, and she contacted us in the street so that was pretty cool. Her husband used to beat her and so she moved away with here 3 kids who are 7, 5 and 1 years old. We already have a baptismal date with her for June 13th, so she’s really excited about that.

We taught another lady a week ago named Gabriela and taught about how to pray and how she can help her kids by receiving guidance through prayer (her son wanted to drop out of school and work construction). We went back with her the other day and said that like a little bit after her prayer to help her son stay in school, he comes home from work and tells her he wants to keep studying. So that was pretty cool.

Rebeca (less active from another area) called me this last week to tell me that she’s reactivated now and is going with the missionaries to visit people, also that she wanted to thank me for finally finding her. I told you guys the story a while ago about how we called her by name and she felt really special like The Lord was calling her. So that was nice.

Also we taught Wendy and her family again this week. It was a pretty good lesson, and they invited us to eat some really expensive fish that supposedly is like 50 bucks for a pound. It was good, and while we were eating Edwin (my convert) told me that his wife had just got back from Arizona and wants to get baptized! So that was really awesome news. I hope I’ll be able to make it to her baptism.

We had lots of success this week. I’m learning a lot in my studies. My new favorite chapter in the BOM is 2 Nefi 2. I think the “Fall” is like the coolest subject ever. Plus they said in General Conference that in order to understand the Atonement we have to understand the Fall, so I’ve been studying that pretty in depth recently and I’ve learned a lot of stuff. 

Like how the tree of life was also in the Garden of Eden along with the forbidden fruit. That without temptation we can’t have agency, and without the fall there is no salvation. How Jesus was the only one who could pay the price for our sins and our fallen state because he wasn’t born of a man and was the only one who could overcome the fall because of his divine nature. Lots of stuff. Too much to explain.

I’ve been having some interesting conversations with a return missionary in this ward. He’s super cool and we talk a lot about gospel stuff. There are some subjects we’ve talked about, and I wanted to see if you guys or Josh have any insights on what we’ve talked about. 1) The more sure word of prophecy (D&C 131 5 and D&C 132: 29 and 49.) We’ve also been talking about a bunch of stuff in the book The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Tell Josh as well to send me his take on it, or any cool stuff he learned in the mission. 

I’m glad you guys are doing good. Thanks for all the support. Tell Josh, Joe, Jonathan, and Jace to write me. I wanna know what they’re doing. I hope you guys get to go on your trip soon, and that everything goes well in your work Dad. It sounds like you guys are having fun and keeping busy. I’ll teach Joe some Spanish so he can talk to the Mexicans in his yard work.

Also my other package got here! Thanks for the watch its super awesome! And the brownies. We’re gonna get diabetes down here! I wish I could write everything and tell you guys everything we’ve been doing but it’s just too much ahah.

Thanks for writing!! Love you guys! Have a good week

June 1, 2015

Dear Everyone:

I’m glad everything went over well with your work dad! That’s a big relief. It’s always good to hear that you guys are doing good! Great blessings. That sounds like the lake will be a blast this summer. I miss wakeboarding and snowboarding but, oh well, There’s always next summer.

It’s really hot here. I’m definitely not going to miss this when I get home. Changes are next week so well see if I get to go to Mazatlan where its way prettier and colder aha. But we’ll see. Things are good here nothing really noteable happened this week. It’s kinda tough because it’s so hot that no one is outside so we can’t really contact in the street. And the investigators we do have we don’t see very often so that sucks. But were still searching. I’m trying to stay motivated in this heat.

Yeah I remember a decent amount about the temple, I think. Haha. But yeah its interesting. Also I read that talk already about the more sure word of prophesy. It’s really interesting and helpful! Also I’ve listened to some sweet talks by Bruce R McConkie about the fall its really interesting. 

That’s exciting that joe is graduating! Time is passing by really quickly. Plus Jared goes home this week and Jordan in 2 months and then ME! hahha. I have some funny videos to send to this week of chino (the 41 year old obese man who frequently escapes from his house) ahah. I don’t have that many funny stories this week but I sort of have one it may not be super appropriate.

Things are very normal here, my birthday was cool we did divisions with the ZLs the day before. And I didn’t tell anyone it was my b-day because I don’t really care too much about it. But they said we were doing a contacting activity as a district, and all ended up coming over to our house with a cake. Sang me happy b-day and we ate and talked for a while ahah. I didn’t get my face shoved in the cake this time though.

Afterwards we went to the hospital and visited Roberto. He’s doing better, a lot less swollen. But still really sick, but he’s getting there. I don’t expect he´ll be leaving super soon, but were hoping for the best. But President and Sister Velez called me and sang me happy birthday, and I learned that I have the same b-day as P. Velez so that was cool.

Very normal week, miss you guys hope everything keeps going well! Also Elder L. Tom Perry died so that’s sad. 

Also we had ward conference this weekend and our church attendance jumped from 45ish to 112! Crazy ahha. Lot’s of less actives and investigators. Also we know a guy that trains roosters for cockfighting he has like 100 in the back of his house ahha. They’re pretty strong and muscle-y

June 8, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This is the family were teaching [picture above in the blog] and they all came to church. It was pretty great. We did have changes. My companion left and now I’m with Elder Trillo. He’s from Peru and I’m the district leader here now. So that’s kinda cool. It’s really, really hot here. 

That’s awesome that you guys are doing good. Tell joe congrats for graduating seminary and high school ahah. Too bad they didn’t go to prom though but it’s kinda overrated anyways. Is Jared back yet? Or does he still have a little bit more to go?  Time is passing by pretty quick here but I’m sort of bummed because of how hot it is.

Nothing too noteable happened this week, really normal. We taught lots of good lessons though and this family is progressing a lot. We’ll hope to see them get baptized in a few weeks! I’m trying to think of things that have happened this week and I really can’t think of anything. Said goodbye to lots of member with my companion.

We did divisions with the assistants which was cool it was pretty fun. We did it for only half the day. But I learned a lot. I think they’re planning on putting more missionaries in this area, and they just came to check it out. But I think after this change I’ll be out of here ahha. 

That’s good you guys are getting good weather over there. It sounds pretty awesome. After the mission I’ll probably never ever move to a hot place to live. Only the cold for me. No funny stories this week. We’re gonna be seeing lots of success soon! 

Love you guys take care.

Elder Latimer

June 15, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This week was pretty awesome we were working hard. We found lots of new people to teach so that was awesome. And the whole family were teaching came to church again and we’ve been having really awesome lessons with them! They’re all gonna get baptized this week, so that’s 5 baptisms! They’re really cool.

People here are never on time. We had a ward activity and we invited the family. It was supposed to start at 7 and we get there at 6:45 and no one is there and the church isn’t even open. So we have to open it and clean it and then the family we’re teaching gets there and we have to tell them that it really starts at 8. It sucked but it turned out really well they had a lot of fun.

They have also been staying for all the classes at church and the 2 parents went with the little girl to primary because she would cry if they left here alone, but they really liked it and said they learned a lot so I’m really excited to be teaching them their last name is Lizarraga. 

That’s awesome Joe graduated, tell him congrats! He’ll have fun working with all the guys ahha, I hope. That sounds like a fun job id totally take it and just talk with all the Mexicans the whole time. Haha. But as far as eating habits go I’ve kinda gotten used to it with some of my companions especially my current one. I have NEVER heard anyone eat so loudly. I don’t understand how it can be done naturally. It sounds like he’s trying to smack his food ahah. He’s a good guy though. 

We have had some really good experiences this week we started teaching this lady we found named Lizbeth and we haven’t really even taught her that much and she already has a baptismal date. She’s really cool. She saw the picture of God and Jesus when they appeared to Joseph Smith, and she’s like, “I wanna feel this light. I’ve felt it before, I know. How can I feel it again?” ahah. It was a really cool experience. 

That’s cool you got to see Abby. There’s lots of people from the stake serving missions. You guys should send me a list of where everyone has gone. I only have like 9 months left in the mission because I go home a little early. Time is going by really fast. 

Nothing really new to report, or anything really crazy. Thanks for the spiritual insights. Also I have a question: a lot of members here say that in the premortal life we chose our families and parents. I’ve never read anything that says that, it might just be Mormon myths. Haha. If you could send me your insights that would be cool. 

Love, Elder Latimer

P.S.  Thanks for the quote from Joseph F. Smith. I noticed lots of people had been saying that and I was like, “I have never read that before.” ahah. It was weird because the bishop said it in a lesson last night we taught to the Lizarraga family, and I was just sitting there thinking, “that’s not true.”. ahhaha but it’s okay. I don’t’ have much more time to write. Sorry for changing my writing time on you guys. My comp is from Peru and his family is on a different time zone so he like to write early, but that’s for everything dad, you’re awesome!!! Have a good week.

June 22, 2015

Hey! HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!!!!! It stinks I don’t get to call home for Fathers’ Day as well but, ehh, what can you do? Sounds like it was fun. It kinda sucked here because no one was really home Sunday, and everyone that was home was drunk. 

The baptism wasn’t planned for this week. It’s this Saturday. They’re progressing a lot! They all go to church and always read and pray and their little 4 year old girl Jade is learning the articles of faith! It’s a super awesome family. We actually hung out with them today. We went to the mall and played pool and air hockey pretty sweet day. And I bought a sick pair of cufflinks for like 10 dollars! It’s a pretty great brand too. It was on a Fathers’ Day sale just one more gift Dad will have to wait for.

This week was awesome we had some really great success and I have a lot of crazy stories, but you have to promise not to get worried because everything here is totally fine and normal. 

1) We have a new investigator who is kinda funny. She’s had an addiction to meth for like 23 years on and off. But she’s really cool and understands everything really well for having an addiction like that for 23 years. But sometimes she says weird stuff, and believes her stuffed animals are alive and when she leaves the house she turns on the fan and puts it on them so they don’t get too hot aha.

2) This is the crazy story but dont freak out! I wrote it but didn’t send it because I’m wondering if i should just wait till after the mission to tell you guys. Just tell me if you wanna here it or not. It’s really not that bad but I don’t know you guys get to decide. 

But other than that it was a really normal week. I hope we can get this family baptized the kids all want to. The mom still has some doubts about the virgin and the saints here. But they’re such a great family, I know they’ll get baptized. 

Everything is great here, having lots of fun and success, but it’s really hot ahah. But well get used to it I guess. 

Roberto isn’t progressing so much anymore. He’s kinda withdrawn. We’re not really sure why we haven’t been able to talk to him very much. Also we saw him smoking and I think he got embarrassed which is why he hasn’t been able to talk to us. 

Sorry the letter is so short most of it is based off the story. So let me know asap if you wanna here it! 

That’s crazy that Joe and Tyler graduate and are heading off for college, and I’ll be up with them during spring semester! I’m glad you’re all doing well. Any summer vacation plans? Or just hangout up at the lake? 

Miss you guys! Love you all

THE STORY: So we went to the other elder’s area to help them do some street contacts and me and another elder contacted a family and were able to teach them a first lesson. And afterwards the dad asks us if we want a ride home and we said okay. 

Then he pulls out this big cadillac escalade all black. And we get in and he immediately starts crying and confesses that he’s part of the Mexican drug cartel and is a hit man and all the people he’s killed. (But the good thing is he wants to change...) 

But he keeps crying talking about how he wants a better life for his family because he doesn’t want to be in the cartel but he has to because he’s ___________’s cousin (huge drug lord here; google him) and his family doesn’t know he’s in the cartel. 

Then he passes by the place where we wanted to get dropped off. and I was like, “hey, it’s back there.... and he just keeps crying and just says, “no, I just wanna talk for a bit.” So he takes us around for like 30 minutes driving super slow on the highway just crying and talking about how he wants to change.

Then the worst part is we saw a huge group of police eating at a taco stand, and he says, “I’m gonna show you how corrupt the police are here.” He pulls up, rolls down his window, and just sticks his hand out. And the head of the crew recognizes him immediately and runs over. 

Then he just asks him where they’re working today, and how they need to check on some other people in other neighborhoods and other stuff. I tried not to listen but I was in the front seat hahha. And the other elder lets the inner missionary in him come out and just says, “Hey how’s it going?” to the freaking corrupt police officer ahah. I was just thinking DUDE SHUT YOUR MOUTH. ahhaha

Needless to say it was very uncomfortable. Then he showed us his house, which was huge. And he just says, “I can’t even live here because my enemies know where I live and if I come here with my family they’ll kill us all.” But then he took us back.

The good news is that he really likes us and wants us to teach his family and baptize his daughter. The bad news is we’re not going too because I told the other elders it’s too dangerous to be around him. Not because he’ll hurt us but because other people might try to hurt him, and we might be there. The other good thing is that he doesn’t live in our area. 

But don’t worry! Every thing is fine!!! We already told our leaders and everything so theres no need to worry. 

June 29, 2015

Dear Everyone:

Really, really crazy week. Well not really, but sort of: 
First the freaking offices messed up with my visa, and lost the information I sent them or something so my visa expired and passed the time period in which I could renew it. So they told me I have 180 days to leave the country. I was super, super bummed, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish the mission here, but turns out they’re going to deport me to the U.S in October. BUT!!! The good thing is its 80% chance that I’ll spend a week in the U.S and they’ll send me back! So if you guys could pray and fast for that that would be great, so I don’t get deported..... ahah that’s something kinda cool to check off my bucket list. Get deported. The bad thing is that it will be harder to get a visa in the future... but not impossible
Also the 3 kids from the family are getting baptized July 4th FREEDOM!!!! So were pretty excited for that. I’ll send you pictures, today we went and ate breakfast with them and they gave me like 5 huge tacos of carne asada. I about died then we hung out and played tons of games. 
Also I bought a really rare fruit that’s normally pretty expensive called a yaka! It’s really exotic but I got it really cheap for like 80 pesos. It’s green and huge and it has these little ball things inside that you eat and it’s called the fruit of 15 flavors! It literally tastes like 15 different fruits in one, and the meat inside is really soft. It like dissolves in your mouth! It’s awesome.
Also we bought litchis! Another weird fruit. It’s hard but inside its really soft and white, and sweet! It’s like the fruit from Lehi’s dream! ahah It’s sort of like a grape but way better. 
We also got caught in a crazy rainstorm it turned the whole highway into a river, and it happened in only a few minutes and we had to take a taxi. I have a video I’ll send.

Also we got invited to a missionary activity in the stake center and we didn’t even do anything. It was supposed to me like a mini MTC/ multi zone conference and like 30 missionaries and 15 youth came ahaha. So we didn’t do much but there was food so hey, not too bad. But it was really funny because a Mexican Elder said to me in English “this was a multi was my time” ahha I about died laughing. 
I’m sad to hear about the supreme court’s ruling. The only good thing is that the gays don’t get to complain any more and will hopefully shut up. But it’s sad to see society’s morals deteriorating. Surprisingly, I had never heard anything about it before hand. Really sad actually. It’s just a huge door for destroying other basic principles and values. 
 I don’t know if you guys have seen that documentary on the Mormon channel on youtube called “Two Brothers?” It’s like the story of the entire lives of a family and they video tape their whole lives maybe you could watch that for a FHE.

I love you all take care!!!
Elder Latimer

July 6, 2015
We got the baptism! It was super awesome! We had so many people there that we couldn’t fit them all in one room so we had to move to the chapel --  easily over 50 people were there. There were more people there than there are on Sundays! It was great to baptize on 4th of July, getting cleaned of sins and enjoying  day of freedom!

It was a tough week as far as teaching and finding goes because we had tons of stuff to do. The other elders in the district had a baptism as well so we had lots of interviews and planning. But the baptism was awesome. I got to baptize them which was a cool experience. The hardest part about baptizing here is that Mexicans have like 5 names ahah so it’s hard to memorize them, because they keep the maiden name as well.

But it was a cool experience. After the baptism the two girls told me that when they went under the water they felt really cool, and it felt like they had done it before. They really liked it. After we finished changing they came out of the bathroom all happy and saying, “haha we don’t have any sins!!” haha It was pretty cool. We had lots of fun. Then my old companion Elder Thorpe got permission to come confirm them the next day so that was cool.

Not a whole lot really interesting happened this week. Today we had a carne asada with the elders in the zone it was really poorly planned but super fun. They called me last minute and were like, “Hey, Elder Latimer we need you to buy 600 pesos of meat for the carne asada......” ahhaha but I didn’t I got them to pitch in. 

And there’s am Elder here that was a ballerina and taught ballet, and he did an interpretive dance. ahha It was glorious. Then we played this game (I wont explain all the rules) but basically at the end there are two people left and they have to arm wrestle to win. And we didn’t have a table so we made a new Elder get down on his hands and knees to be the table ahhhaha. 

Being a District Leader is okay. It’s not super exciting ahha. There are 6 missionaries in the district. We were 8 but the sisters area got closed. I was sad Boyd K. Packer died he was such a stud. I actually just finished reading his general conference talk when I heard the news. Pretty sad but it’ll be interesting to see some new apostles.

I was so jealous seeing those 4th of July videos. There’s no freedom here. ahha No there is, but I like bugging the members here. Every house we go to I just shook their hands and said, “you’re welcome.” Then they’d ask why and I would say, "for all the freedom! BACK TO BACK WORLD WAR CHAMPS!!!" They didnt really appreciate it. 

That’s cool Torri and Rex are going to Machu Pichu. My comp is from Peru so he’s told me quite a bit about it. Maybe I’ll go visit him when I have money... But my Spanish has gotten to the point where I want it to be! Twice this week people mistook me for being from Argentina. So I’m pretty stoked about that I lost my accent. 

Also on the 4th I woke up and just sang the national anthem really loudly at my comp and “America the Beautiful,” had to let him get a sense of what real freedom is ahha. 

But all in all it was an awesome week. No crazy stories but that’s how it went down!!!

Elder Latimer

July 13, 2015

Dear Everyone:

haha I knew he [El Chapo] escaped, because here there’s like cars that drive around with recordings that just yell about whatever their selling fruit tortillas water etc. But there’s this hilarious newspaper called “La I” ahha. Dudes ride around in bicycles blasting a little recording of a guy screaming super loud about the news. 

They yell things like, “NOOO, NOOO, THE DEVIL IS RUNNING LOOSE IN CULIACAN 5 DEAD! ONLY GOD CAN SAVE US.” aahha. It’s so funny I’ll send you a video. But we were in our personal study and about 8:30 in the morning we just hear it yelling, “NOOO NOOOO NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! EL CHAPO SE ESCAPO!!!!!!!” hahahhahah I died laughing.

But I don’t think it will change much. His "prison" where he was kept was a huge sweet house ahha and he’s escaped 3 times before so I don’t think it was his genius plan. Just he got bored and left and him and the government covered  it up and said he escaped ahah. He really has a ridiculous amount of money. Also I think I told you this already but I know and have a picture with Chapo Guzman’s cousin ahah. So maybe I’ll get to finally meet El Chapo. 

Things are really good here, kind of a slow week because we dropped a bunch of investigators and it’s hotter than Africa. But the family Mariano Lizarraga is awesome. They really like us. They ALWAYS invited us over for dinner and give us so much food. 

I told them that its possible they’ll change me this next week and the little 4 year old jade started crying. Then the mom said she was gonna fast and ask God to keep me here so I can baptize her and her husband ahha. It’s a pretty sweet family.

The kids have pretty good testimonies as well, they had a cool experience when their car broke down in the middle of nowhere and they said a prayer and a guy like 17 years old came up on a motorcycle and helped them find a repair place. 

I kinda want to leave to get to know other parts hopefully Cabo, or Mazatlan because I’ve been here in Culiacan forever. But I also want to stay because this family is super awesome and we still need to get the mom and dad baptized ahah. 

The family reunion sounds fun! What are you guys gonna do? Anything planned? Where is it gonna be?  

Things here are pretty calm but changes are this week so I’ll let you know where I go.Not sure what else has been going on. I’ve only got like 8 months left so that’s cool.

Miss you guys!! 

Elder Latimer

PS: I bought a sweet straight edge razer like James Bond and I’m starting to shave with it. It takes forever but I feel super sophisticated when I use it. 

July 20, 2015

Dear Everyone:

I got changed! I’m in downtown Culiacan! It’s pretty sweet. I was hoping to go to Mazatlan or Los Cabos but because I’m gonna get deported I think president decided to keep me close so they wouldn’t have to pay a bunch of money. Also I’m training again! So that’s cool his name is Elder Mendez, but I still don’t know him. In a few more hours, I will.

This week was pretty sweet. This last pday was the bees knees! The ZLs told us we were gonna go give service to a family as a zone so we went. But it was basically a huge lie. They took us super far away to an amazing place called Imala. You should look it up. It’s one of Mexico’s magical cities. It has the oldest Catholic church in Sinoloa.

But anyways, we went all the way there in a little truck packed with 14 people, and 12 of them being missionaries. And we got their ate seviche which is shrimp cooked in lime sauce so it’s basically raw. But they gave us a soy version of it. But it was pretty good. Then we filled up their pool with huge hose and had a huge water fight. It was a super fun day. We didn’t get back to the house until like 9:30. Definitely a pday to remember.

Also you guys know that Chapo Guzman escaped from jail but the people love him here. They freaking held worship services in some Catholic churches to protect him so that he would be okay and whatever. But I kinda understand because the day after they did that Chapo paid off EVERYONES debts to this huge business called Coppel. It’s like a huge franchise store like Walmart. And it’s like a ridiculous amount of money, 99% of all Mexicans owe money to the Coppel. He also paid everyone’s electricity bills ahahah. So that’s why the people love him.

And I love him too...

ahhah Not really. But then I had to say goodbye to everyone in the ward which was sad. I really like this ward. And then saying goodbye to the family Mariano Lizarraga. They’re such awesome people. We ate dinner with them and talked for a long time. It was a sad goodbye but the good thing is that I’m really close still so I’ll get to see them every once in a while. They also gave me a sweet Argentina soccer jersey. 

So it was a pretty great week all in all. I’m excited about my new area, but it’ll be weird because I’m the district leader of the Zone leaders and the assistants to the president ahah. But it’s a cool area. It’s all downtown Culiacan and a little more. Tons of sweet stuff goes down here. There are also a few famous Catholic churches in my area. One has a giant staircase, and frequently people crawl up it on their knees so that the virgin Guadalupe helps them. So maybe I’ll try it one pday ahah. 

Mom that’s a sweet trek story! I miss trek and all the youth activities. I’m glad to hear everyone is doing good. Time is flying by over here, but I’m having lots of fun.  have some interesting questions for dad but I already sort of have the answer:

The Holy Ghost is a personage but does not possess a body. Will he one day receive a body and progress further or will he remain an exalted spirit that just serves God forever? Because apparently you can become exalted in whatever sphere or world or dominion you live it. For example it says in Jesus The Christ in the first 2 chapters that Lucifer held and exalted position in the councils in heaven. So he was exalted in spiritual form, but it wasn’t the same level of exaltation that God has because he has a resurrected body. 


Elder Latimer

July 27, 2015

Dear all:

Well mom I’ve always sort of been in Culiacan haha, but now I’m just downtown. So I’ve gotten to know the city really well. Our area is pretty cool. I think i already told you it’s all of downtown, and the church where we go is the first Mormon church ever in Culiacan so that’s cool.

The bad thing about our area is that there are a lot of people, but the majority don’t live here (they just have their businesses here) so there’s not too many houses. Well there are, you just have to look a little bit harder for them. I like it because it’s all concrete and it’s got that cool city vibe. 

E. Mendez is from Tijuana. He’s my third native speaking companion. The first was E. Moya (step father) who is from Mexico City, and E. Trillo who is from Peru. It’s fun having a native companion. We have been having a good time. We’re living where the sisters used to live, and they left it super messy… but it’s cool cuz we cleaned it. We found sweat stained bras and other nasty stuff... ahahha

Opening an area is kinda hard but it’s okay because the members have helped us a lot. We found a guy named Eduardo who is like 20 years old, and he called us over in the street and was really interested and asked if he could get baptizsed and go on a mission! So that’s a good start. He’s got a baptismal date and everything. So not too bad for our first week.

The people down town are way more Catholic than in other parts of Culiacan, probably because the 2 biggest and most famous Catholic churches in the state are here ahah. But it was the first time in the mission when people have just straight out rejected us. 

I went to go ask an old lady the name of the street where we were on in order to find a member’s house and she just started yelling "nope! nope! I’m catholic. I don’t want anything. I don’t like your religion" and I was like "Okay, I just wanna know the name of the street" and again she just said "Nope Nope!" ahah. Finally the member who was with us was like "we just wanna know the street name!" and she was like "oh..... its Benito Juarez...." ahhah

She really thought we were trying to get in the door, but that’s happend like 2 or 3 times this week. So its chill.

Things are going kinda slow but they’re going good. Time is flying by. I also bought myself new boots to work with, they’re for diabetics and they’re super comfortable! I could walk all day in these babies.

Sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun up there. I miss the lake and you guys, and Oliver ahah He’s such a derp. I’m glad everything is going good over there. Not a whole lot to report, just trying to get through this last heat wave, only like 2 or 3 months of heat ahha. 

I’m having a good time though. Also some Christian dude tried telling me that paying tithing wasn’t biblical, and I totally showed him up in the street with Hebrews 7! ahha So that was fun. I learned that talking with those kind of people is that whenever you prove them wrong they just change the subject ahah. But it’s okay. I don’t think he will progress.

I want to live in the Ridge when I get back, or I don’t know living with Jordan and Jared would be cool too. I feel like I’ve still got a decent amount of time to think about it only 8 months left! Seems like I just got here. 

Love you all!

Elder Latimer

August 3, 2015

Hello! This week was pretty calm nothing really new to tell. We’ve found a couple people to teach. It’s still going slow because our area is the downtown area but its chill because we always see super expensive cars and crazy stuff ahah. 

We’ve been having lots of fun. We always eat with the Assistants so it’s fun eating with 4 missionaries again. We did this super sick rendition of a Child’s prayer by playing our name tags as kazzoos ahah. Its super sick. We spent like 30 minutes practicing, Obvious we have nothing to do ahah.

We had a couple of cool spiritual experiences. We were walking in the street yesterday, and this guy comes up to us, and is just like "what can you tell me about your church and Joseph Smith? I’ve been reading the book of mormon and I want to know more" ahah So we took him to the church and taught him. It was pretty sweet, but he doesnt live in our area. But that’s okay it was still fun.

Also this week I bought some new shoes, and they’re super comfy. They’re designed for diabetics! ahah They’re pretty sturdy too so I’m walking on clouds over here. We went to go play pool and bowling today and the family Lizarraga was there so it was cool seeing them again. The new Elder that is there teaching them is Elder Lopez but the little girl Jade calls him Elder Latimer Lopez ahah. 

That’s super cool that Ashtin and Abby got their calls! Crazy how Jordan and Jared are all back, but only 8 more months for me. Time is going by pretty fast so I don’t worry too much. But it’s freaking hotter than Satan’s gym shorts over here! It was like 115 all week ahah. I’m cookin’ over here. 

Lots of drunk people like talking to us, and they always say ridiculous things. One guy told me my life destiny was to preach the word of Joseph Smith and the word of God ahahah. But I learned that whenever you want to finish a conversation with anyone here  you just have to say. "Primero Dios" ahah which is “God first,” ahah and they just shut up and say "see ya later"

ahha I love that here. There are so many funny things they say here, like whatever little thing you say to them they’ll just respond "if God wants it." Like you’ll say "see you at church!" and they’ll respond like that. The members don’t but our investigators do ahha. 

That’s cool you could get the family together, sounds like everyone is doing great. I’m having lots of fun, and enjoying the last stretch of the mission, its gone by really fast and its going by even faster now. 

Also I’ve gotten into this sweet Spanish Christian music ahah, The things the mission does to you. 

Have a great week!

Elder Latimer

August 10, 2015

This week was pretty good. We have found some new people to teach. We found a really great family and they’re super awesome and we had a great first lesson. But the second time we went they told us that the dad hates the missionaries and doesn’t want us to visit them. They said they’ll keep reading and praying but he won’t let them listen to us.

Actually when the sister missionaries visited them before, the dad put soap all over the stairs and one of the sisters fell all the way to the bottom. ahha I laughed but it’s sad. Hopefully a little further down the road he´ll let them listen.

Also I got invited to a special leaders conference in the mission. I was the only district leader there, and all the rest were zone leaders. I was confused at first because Pte. Velez invited me to share my testimony there and I assumed there would be other DLs there.

But it was weird because in the beginning one of the Assistants, just says in the middle of their presentation, "Everyone look at Elder Latimer. That’s my district leader and he’s freaking awesome.” He didn’t say “freaking awesome” but still it was weird, and he said I was a good DL and stuff.

Then like an hour later Pte Velez is like "Elder Latimer stand up, everyone, he’s here because he’s freaking awesome etc, etc." ahhaha Not really, but it was weird but also cool. Apparently he invited me there because I’m the DL of the Assistants and I don’t treat them differently than the other missionaries. I didn’t know I was that awesome, so it was good to get that confirmation/revelation directly from the President ahah. I basically consider that it came from the mouth of The Lord. I hope that doesn’t make me an apostate. Needless to say I’m going to study more about humility this week ahah. 

They talked about how sometimes as leaders we skip the needs of the missionaries and go straight to the numbers, but when we ask for their numbers we shouldn’t focus on the fact that their numbers were low, but why they were low. 

For example, they might be frustrated, not studying well, etc. I really liked that sometimes we do that with people. We focus on their actions and things they say, but we never think about what would make them say or do those things. Or, I guess, the real cause of their actions/problems etc. (however you want to apply it)

Also we were struggling with street contacts but the Spirit was able to guide us. The other day like 4 people in a row rejected us, but the 5th person I almost decided not to talk to her. But something told me we should, so we stopped and started talking to her and she has gone to institute before with her friends and has a Book of Mormon and said we could visit her! So that was cool, we could see the blessings from being diligent. 

Also we got to talk in church on Sunday about missionary work. It was really good. And for the first time in the mission, our talks seemed to have an effect on the ward! Afterward the members were super excited to work with us, and gave us a couple of references! Pretty successful week. 

Today we went to the batting cages and I totally realized I shouldn’t go back to school and instead I should try to walk on to an MLB team. Because I was killing it ahah. It was pretty fun. It’s nice not being the only missionaries in the ward.

Time is passing by pretty quick, and yes, mom, I’m training again. Things are going really good here, Kinda slow in terms of finding really awesome people to teach but, were working hard and seeing the fruits.

Its hot, but I’m kinda getting used to it. Crazy that it’s my last summer here. In October and November it will still be hot but more around 80 degrees so not horrible, just 2 more months of crazy hot, and I’ll come home when its nice out.

Mom that’s an awesome experience you had! That’s pretty cool that you could help her. Youth conference, EFY, scouts etc are some of the best activities ever and are some of the best memories I have. So it’s really cool to still be able to participate in them

I miss you guys, and miss being at the lake and going snowboarding and all the family vacations. But I’ll be able to do all of that soon. I don’t really need anything right now. If you could put some money on my card that would be nice. I need to buy a few little things. Also could you send some pictures of stuff that’s going on, and from past family vacations? You can do it through email if you want.

Thanks for everything! I hope you guys have a good week!

Love Elder Latimer

August 17, 2015

I’m getting deported this Wednesday!!! I’m leaving the country for 2 days with another Elder named Elder Wright!!! So that will be fun. We get to go over there for 2 days hang out hopefully go to the temple and what not so it’ll be a great adventure. The best news is I get to come back to the mission! But I’ll make sure to call you guys and tell you what’s up. 

So that’s pretty crazy. This week was pretty great. We got caught in a crazy rain storm, found and new family to teach (less actives), played pool, and sweated like pigs in the street! Pretty normal week. Everything is going great not a whole lot to talk about. 

Today was fun we went and played pool, and the Lizarraga family came to and played. It was great seeing them again, we had lots of fun. And the little girl jade bought me a stuffed animal, Bullseye from toy story. I love seeing them they are such an awesome family. Also Kennedy received the Aaronic priesthood on Sunday so I was pretty stoked. Also Wendy and Chantal told me that they want to have a calling in the church! I’m glad they they’re still active. 

I can’t really think of interesting things that happened this week. Also here people always say "God first" or "if God wants" as like a way to say goodbye and we always laugh about it, and I actually started saying it too. It’s kinda funny. But i figured out why they say it!!! There’s a single verse in 1st Corinthians and has that phrase. I found it in my personal study. ahha so that was fun.

I miss you guys, and Jordan and Jared and Ryan and Ben and Alex and Jeff and etc. It makes me anxious knowing that they’re all home. Makes me a little trunky. It’s like when you’re late to a party and you know everyone else is there, you just wanna get there as fast as you can. But just a few more months.

I’m glad you guys are having, fun. I don’t really need anything at the moment. You can send pictures, and maybe some cool ties, more like cheezy ones like of the mariners or seahawks stuff like that. I’m looking for a place here that does cool designs for scripture cases lots of missionaries have them here and I want one too. Here’s a couple of ideas. 

You can make your own there and I’d really like ones for my triple and bible. 

I was gonna ask dad about this whole doctrine about shaking the dust from your feet, it talks about it in the bible and D&C but nothing specific. I think only apostles can do it, but idk lots of people have their own ideas about it, just wondering if there has been modern revelation about it? I’ll look in later for it. 

But I’m having a blast down here. Oh yeah I fought the 1 headed dragon this week. It sucked because I eat a lot of spicy food now. I got used to it, so I always add cerrano and jalapeƱo peppers to my food and stuff like that. But our investigator opened a coconut with a dirty machete in the street and we ate it all ahah and drank all the water so we got kinda sick.

But if having diarheea (dont know how to spell it in English) wasn’t bad enough mine was like pooping out a smoothie of pepper spray! Freaking hot. I was sweating so bad ahhah. (thats my spiritual experience for the week) I wanted to cry but I didn’t because it kinda made me laugh.

Any who love you guys a lot and thanks for writing me!!!

Elder Latimer