Monday, February 23, 2015

A Ton of Pictures From the Last Couple of Months!

With Kaleb Decker!

This isn't a real beer! Just a container for a tie at Christmas!

Sick companion. Seems like Elder Latimer is very sympathetic.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Baptisms Coming Up; Staying in Culiacan and the REAL Reason Seattle Lost the Superbowl!

January 19, 2015

Hi All:

This week was pretty successful. We put ourselves to work and had some really good numbers. We also found some amazing people to teach that are progressing really well. And lots of funny moments. Still can’t send pictures. I need to find a Mexican computer nerd. 

One of our investigators names is Daniela. She’s super awesome our neighbor said we should go visit her and talk to her. So we went and she’s super awesome and has a baptismal date for 14 of February. She’s read everything we’ve ever left with her, and remembers everything and has gotten answers to her prayers and knows that it’s true. I’m half tempted to just leave Preach My Gospel at her house and see what happens. We left a Book of Mormon with her and explained it and I assume she’s read a lot.

We have a lot of awesome people were teaching and killed it as far as numbers go this week. We have 4 baptisms programmed for Feburarry. Aar! I forgot how to spell it so I’m hoping to see a lot of success soon. President gave us an awesome incentive to complete our goals as a mission. If an entire zone completes their personal goals for new investigators every month, we can do ANYTHING we want on p-day and president will come with us, and PAY for it!!! ANYTHING! We can go swimming, to the movies, play paintball! Anything!! So were pretty stoked for that. I want to go surfing. 

My companion is very funny, but he doesn’t really try to be. He’s an awesome guy and very sincere, but he hasn’t had a lot of real world experience. Like he’s never been to a barber shop and doesn’t know how he likes his hair cut so I had to choose a style. Lots of little things like that. When he first got here I had to show him how to iron his shirt. He’s really awesome though. We get a long pretty well even though he’s quiet. Also I saw him eat a booger in personal study, and I was like, “Dude! That’s gross!!” and then he looked at the ground really ashamed and said, “I know... I’m sorry.” ahha I almost died laughing. 

Also, he laughs at the word poop, a lot. So I told some members to say it to him every now and then. And I told a member when we were eating with them and Elder L. was like, “I don’t always laugh... then the member yelled “poop,” and he busted up laughing and the member said “poop” for like the next half an hour. I almost died of laughter that day too.

Things are going really well here. We’re having good success and working hard. I feel close to fluent in Spanish. I’m just trying to perfect my accent. People tell me it’s pretty decent, but I want to get to the point where I lose my English accent and if I were to talk to someone on the phone they would think I was Mexican. But it’s kinda tough.

I’m pretty excited about the Seahawk’s win, and the time passes so fast. I already have 9 months! 

Love Elder Latimer

P.S. I miss snowboarding and wake boarding a lot. I was thinking about that today. But yeah, I’m learning a lot here and lots of cool experiences. Some members have told us awesome stories about like 3 nephites and John the Beloved encounters. I was gonna ask you guys if there’s anything cool like that in our family? I know something like that happened to Nana once. Or Dad, if you have any really cool mission stories, I’d like to hear them. Same goes for Josh or anyone else. 
I love you all and hope everything is going well! Tell Oliver I hope he feels better.

January 26, 2015

Dear Everyone:
This week as pretty great we taught a lot of lessons, like 33, so that was great. It’s pretty calm here. Nothing crazy has happened recently, just working hard I guess. I can’t really think of anything new or exciting other than that we have some great investigators, and we have a couple baptisms programmed for the 14th of February: Daniela and Vanessa. And Rigo can get baptized whenever he wants, he just has Jehovah’s Witness friends that throw like little doubts at him. For example, one of his doubts was why the Elders wear white shirts. It’s sad. 
I feel like I might get transferred this change. I kinda don’t want to because I want to see these baptisms go through, and finish training Elder L. But I’ve been here for like 4 and a half months so who knows? I’ve had more companions in my mission than I have had transfers, but I like it because I know a lot of people because of it.  Well see if I go to Los Cabos!
I’ve been reading the Bible all the way through in Spanish (new testament) and I just started 1 Corinthians. There are a ton of awesome scriptures in all of Paul’s letters. And I usually get nervous for changes because I want to baptize these people I’ve found and taught and put so much effort in. But I was reading and Paul says that he that plants the seed is no greater than the one who waters it or who harvests it. So that kinda helped me, knowing that the number of baptisms doesn’t indicate how much success you have had in your mission. 
I like that thing you told me, Mom, about Jesus´s baptism. That’s really cool! I never thought about that before. I’m trying to think of weird things that have happened, but it’s been really normal. But there is this little dog named Pirata that lives in front of our house and when we leave he ALWAYS slips through the gate and poops diarrhea all over. He knows that we know too! I look at him every day and he avoids eye contact with me, and I say I know you did it! And he runs away.... freaking devil dog. 
Also my watch broke. It’s been sort of broke for like 3 months now but the battery ran out, and I tried opening it up to look at it and the whole thing fell out and broke on the floor. So I doodled a watch on a piece of paper and put it inside the glass part and wrote “Gucci” on it hah. It was pretty awesome. But I finally bought a new watch for like 120 pesos and it’s pretty nice. 
Time is flying by here. I’m still trying to get my accent to be perfect but it’s hard to pick someone to imitate here because everyone talks so differently. But who knows, I’ve still got a lot of time in the mission so well see how I progress.
That’s cool that Joe is into psychology! People here always try to get us to interpret dreams for them so maybe Joe would like to serve in Mexico or a South American mission aha. I’ve heard some pretty crazy experiences that people have had with dreams. I have lots of weird stories about that but I don’t feel like typing them ahha.
I hope the seahawks win! I’m glad you’re all doing good. It sounds like that diet Dad and Mom are doing sucks. I would rather just get fat and die young. Hope everything keeps going good! Miss you guys a lot. 
Love, Elder Latimer

February 2, 2015
Dear Everyone:

I’m staying here for another change so I’ll be here for the baptisms we have programmed. I SAW THE GAME. I was in a lesson with a recent convert (Edwin) and my district leader called me and yelled ELDER LATIMER YOUR TEAM IS WINNING, so I told Edwin what he said and he turned the game on, so I watched like the last 6 minutes of the 4th quarter. It was insane. I was so depressed. I figure we lost because I watched it. Because Josh didn’t watch it [last year on his mission] and we won and I watched the last 6 minutes and we lost... I’m to blame.

This was a pretty decent week we taught a lot of good lessons, and I ate the biggest plate of nachos I’ve ever seen. It was probably like 3 or 4 pounds. Needless to say it was a great way to start my fast. But eating all that grease then not drinking water for 24 hours gave me a huge migraine so that sucked. But I’m actually planning to kill this dog that lives on our street, not only does he always poop on our porch but the past three nights he has been barking at like 3 in the morning for intervals of 30 minutes. At one point I actually got up put on a shirt and threw rocks at him... I hate him.. He is my mortal enemy. 

Also I’ve got some stories that are pretty nanners:

Alma (Edwin’s wife) has told us before she had a dream where an angel told her she shouldn’t be baptized. We brought the bishop with us to teach them a lesson and she brought up her dreamed again but this time she added a detail that she never told us before. The angel said: “Don’t worry you don’t need to be baptized, because you are already in paradise.” Which we took to mean, yes when she dies she will go to paradise in the spirit world but won’t be able to obtain a celestial glory. We’re pretty convinced it’s a demon or Satan as an angel of light because she’s also told us that she knows she needs to be baptized she just isn’t sure what church. She has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and everything we have taught, but it seems like some external forces are working on her. 

That’s actually the only crazy story. But another cool one is that we went to go visit a member who is one of my favorite members, Hermano Guero. We got there and he was like dying because he has kidney stones and he said they’re like huge crystals and really long and thick and there is like 7 of them. And he asked us for a blessing and I gave him one. In the blessing I didn’t say the pain would be taken away or anything like that. I was going to but I didn’t. Then he asked me afterwards why I didn’t say that, and I said, “Well I don’t know. I didn’t feel like i should.” But then he told me that the pain was totally gone and he was able to go back to work, which was a really, really cool experience for me to see the Lord work in that way. He actually didn’t tell me right after the blessing he felt better but he told us Sunday in priesthood when we were talking about the proper way to perform a priesthood blessing. Anyhoo I just thought it was cool.

Im glad Joe got into BYUI! He and Tyler are gonna have so much fun. It’s like constant fun and awesomeness. I figured out that my memory has a virus so I have to use a member’s computer software or something to debug it. But I have a lot of really cool pictures to send.

I’m crazy jealous that you’re going to Europe. I always wanted to go there. Make sure to take lots of pictures and send me a souvenir or something! This year has gone by so fast. I just finished 1 Corinthians and I’m also reading a book, “The Day of Defense” (in Spanish), but it’s really cool. It’s how 2 missionaries defend the church and I’m learning a lot from it as well. 

Im glad everything is going well, but tell Jonathan that the world won’t end because we lost ahha. I’m not sure if anyone has ever won back to back super bowls. Anyhoo, I love you all, and I’m glad you’re well!

February 9, 2015
Dear All:

I did send a letter [We didn’t get last week’s letter for some reason]. I forwarded it again. Ugh! That’s frustrating. This week was kinda frustrating. I’m working like a dog over here to help people and not a single person came to church this Sunday. I was pretty bummed about that because we did like everything possible but no one came. How sad, but I did have a kinda cool experience were some Christian lady wanted to argue with us, and I sort of destroyed her ahaha.  I’ll tell more about it, but I won’t go into all the detail.

First off in the morning in my studies I was thinking we always ask our investigators to ask and pray to see if what we teach is true, so after my personal studies I kneeled down to pray and ask as well. And I felt a very strong feeling when I asked so it was cool to get that testimony reaffirmed. (This will tie in to the story)

We decided to go visit this lady. She was a street contact and we went to go follow up with her, and she was a total bust. We walk in the door and start talking and she just starts attacking us ahah. But it was awesome because I kept my cool and shut down basically everything she said. The argument actually started because I asked her if we could say a prayer in her house with her, and she just went off about a whole bunch of stuff. But some of the funnier parts were that she said Joseph Smith couldn’t have been a prophet because he isn’t mentioned in the bible. So I said “Could you please show me at any part in the Old Testament where Peter, James, John, Judas, Paul, etc are mentioned by name in the Old Testament? Or even better could you please show me the name Jesus Christ in the Old Testament?” haha. She got a little mad about that. Then little things like that kept happening and I started to think well she’s just not gonna understand anything we say to her so were gonna share our testimonies.

So I was like, “You don’t have to believe anything I say or that my companion says. I know that if you read this book and pray to know if it’s true, you’ll know it and you won’t be able to deny it, because I just did it like 3 hours ago and The Holy Ghost told me that it’s true.” And a whole bunch of other stuff. Then then my companion shared his testimony, which was amazing because it totally shut her up. She couldnt refute anything we said or anything she had felt in that moment. Then I invited her to look on and read something by Thomas S. Monson to see if he’s a prophet, and she grumbly agreed! ahah. Then I asked her if we could help her do anything (clean, wash dishes etc) then she said no, and instantly became more friendly and offered us water ahah. I think she felt bad. 

I felt like Peter and John when they were brought before a court in Acts 4 and were going to be killed and all they did was share their testimonies and they were set free. I learned a lot. Mostly that anyone can deny your claims in the scriptures no matter how reasonable or correct they are, but there isn’t anyone that can deny a true witness of God and Jesus Christ. 

Other than that the week kinda sucked. I kinda got frustrated because were working hard but didn’t see any fruits this week. Oh well, I know it will get better. That’s too bad about Jace and the Super Bowl haha but it will all get better. I’m sure it will get better. We have a couple of investigators and were hoping to see a few baptisms this week or maybe the next. Vanesa, Alma, Rigoberto. I’m really hoping to have more success. 

I miss trek and youth conferences. I wish I could be there! I’ll tell josh to go to BYUI so we can room together maybe ahah. It’s so much fun. Can you send me his email?

Love, Elder Latimer