Friday, March 20, 2015

Pics and Letters for February/March! Transfer to New Area!

February 16, 2015

Dear All:

This week was pretty good but it was tough again. We did everything possible but no one came this week to sacrament meeting. And Vanesa didn’t get baptized this week because she doesn’t know the bishop (she’s been going to her grandmas ward) also her parents want to wait until the end of the month when they can get paid and have a big party for her baptism. Ahah. I guess that’s good. But they’re still less actives, and I think they feel unworthy to come back to church because they’re really friendly and love having us but their problem is going to church. 

We’re facing some problems so I’m applying a little bit more of faith. We found a guy named Ilario whose girlfriend is a member and he’s already gone to church 6 times with her! And he’s been reading the Book of Mormon, and accepted baptism! So we just need to teach him the lessons and get a baptismal date for him. He’s super awesome, so that was a huge blessing. Sometimes it’s hard because these people mean a lot to me, and it hurts sometimes to see them not progressing.

I had the cheezy-est experience this week! We were working, and it was raining and so we were walking in the mud and some people told us a dog had been following us for 2 blocks, and I turned around and there’s this little 2 week old puppy shivering in the rain. So I scooped it up and put in under my arm and walked around with it for a bit. Then we went to see Vanesa and it was her birthday so we gave the puppy to her as a present! It was awesome, but I just wish the Liahona photographers were there to capture the moment of two missionaries walking in the rain with an abandoned puppy. It would have made the general conference addition for sure. (I have pictures of all this stuff but I have to get the virus off my memory card first.)

My studies are going good. I’ll share an insight from this week that came from the Liahona. I was trying to study to figure out how we can help people realize the importance of sacrament meeting. And it talks about how when Jesus suffered in the garden of Gethsemene (forgot how to spell it in English) and he asked Peter, James and John to wait with him for just 1 hour while he suffered. And they fell asleep (3 times). And every time the Lord invited them to keep waiting with him and to keep praying, and never got mad at them even though he was suffering so much. I like that because even though we weren’t there with the Lord while he suffered we can spend that one hour with him when we partake of the sacrament, which is a representation of those moments in the garden and on the cross. So I started applying that to my investigators. I really like it, all He asks of us is to stay with him one hour, and he gives us so much in return. 

(I’ll finish this letter in a little bit. I’m gonna get back on for another hour later on) so stay tuned for part 2!)

Miss you all! Love you all!

[comes back]

That’s awesome that Josh wants to go to BYUI, that will be great! Then hopefully at some point we can all be there at the same time. Although I am thinking I want to transfer to BYU Provo when I get back, test out of Spanish to raise my GPA an then maybe go over there. I still am not sure but I guess I have a long time to think about it. Also, I hit 10 months today in the mission so that’s kinda exciting! It’s really more like 11 months because on my mission service card signed by the prophet says I’ll go home on march 28th. 

I wish I could send photos but soon enough I’ll be able too! Then you’ll get a flood of pictuers!

Speaking of floods, We had one today! It was a huge storm in the morning and I opened the back door and a ton of water flooded in. I have  video of it. ahha. Apparently it took away a couple cars and my whole area is like really steep hills so it like destroyed the streets and lifted up the concrete. Ahah. It was crazy. 

Everything is great here. Just loving the mission!

Miss you all, Love you!

(also the letters in my name tag are getting yellow from working hard)

Elder Latimer

February 23, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This week was pretty sweet. I decided to be a genius and use the wifi function on my camera so it still has a virus but I can send emails of them but I can’t send videos and I have a lot of really funny videos... but that’s okay. I’m coming up on the year mark so that’s exciting, and reading about Jordan and Jared and John getting ready to go home is making me a little trunky too. Haha. But not really. I’m really, really happy here. 

This week was all right. We had stake conference so that was fun to see a lot of my old friends from the other ward. I’ve been in the same stake for my whole mission. I’m secretly hoping to go to Los Cabos or Mazatlan this change (so if you’d like to fast for that as well). Aha. Not really. My companion is super funny, just the things he does. Ahha. I’ll have to find a way to send the videos. I’m having a lot of fun here, and still battling this little dog that poops on the porch. But today I learned its conspiracy between all the animals in our street. I walked out this morning and there were 3 different animals 2 cats and 1 dog pooping on the porch!! Who does that?! It was funny but ridiculous. These are animals of perdition.

We had a neat spiritual experience this week. I really like it because it relates to my favorite story in the Bible. I want to say it’s the last chapter of Luke. But it’s Christ’s resurrection when he appears to Mary. And at first she doesn’t know who he is and is incredibly upset, but then he says her name, “Mary.” And without any doubt or hesitation she knows it’s him and says, “Raboni.” I really like it because it reminds me that the Savior has called each of us by name just as he called Mary. 

But we were looking for this less active lady for the past few days, and we couldn’t find her, and we tried knocking on her door and different times of the day but we could never find her. And it was late and it was about time to go home but I felt we should pass by again so we did. And she’s sitting outside with her daughter and I walk up and say, “Excuse me were looking for Rebeca is that you?” And she said, “yes” and invited us right in. We had a great lesson and her daughter accepted the baptismal challenge. And we talked about why she was inactive, etc. And at the very end she says, “Thank you for coming. I felt special when you said my name. I don’t know why but it felt like God sent you two to me.”

It was a really cool experience and the spirit was really strong. I feel very grateful to have been that voice sent by the Lord to call her name. But that just reminds me that the same way the Christ called Mary and we called Rebeca, He has called every single one of us, in his own voice. 

So that was the cool experience we had this week. Vanesa is awesome and in Mexico its very normal to let your kids have dogs, even when they die the parents just take another one out of the street, because no one spays or neuters their dogs here ahah. But Vanesa is awesome but her parents are less active and never take her to church. So we’re working with them on that. But there are like no members that live in our area and we live really far away and in a more dangerous part than the rest of the ward so no one ever comes with us.

We fasted for Obdulia this week. She keeps saying that she wants her answer to come in the form of the dream... Mexicans here are like that. I explained to her it’s very possible it won’t come like that. I’m afraid shell get the answer but refuse to recognize it because it wasn’t a dream. We didn’t get to see Ilariou this week because he was working a lot but we still have high hopes for him. 

Things are great here. It’s hot again so that sucks, but I only have to pass through 8 more months of heat and it’ll be cold (sort of) when I go home! So I’m excited to push through this 8 or 10 month heat wave. ahah. 

I sent a lot of pictures. I hope you got them! ALSO PRESIDENT IS LETTING US GO SEE MEET THE MORMONS THIS WEDNESDAY AT THE THEATER!!! IT’S A MIRACLE!!! Ahha. I’m super stoked to see it.

And in my next package could you send me my black backpack I used from school with new garments (like 8 pairs) and lots of photos from my life? Ahha. All the missionaries have printed out photos of their life and I want some too.

I’m glad everything is going well. That will be really cool to be with Josh and Joe at BYUI for at least 1 semester!! I’m excited about that! 

Miss you all! Love you! Take care

Elder Latimer

March 2, 2015

Hi Everyone:

We’ve had a couple of really hard weeks here with very few investigators going to church. So it’s been kind of a struggle. It sucks seeing people at one point so interested and motivated to learn lose their desires or give in to temptations.

But Sunday my companion was all mopey so I decided we’d go back to the house and have a special companionship study. I shared a bunch of scriptures with him about being patient and missionary work and stuff. It was pretty spiritual, and we felt pretty good, and I told him that if we just keep pushing even though were not having success, that The Lord will give it to us. Because were obedient and we work hard, etc. and that we were going to see a miracle that day. AND WE DID!!

It was awesome we were walking in the street and this dude comes running out (speaking English!) asking us to come teach him. So we sat down (this by the way is the first time I have EVER taught in English) And began explaining the first lesson and the Book of Mormon. And it was the most awesome experience, it was an amazing lesson, I’ll include some awesome quotes that he said to us:

“What you’re telling me is what I have always felt and never been able to express or find.”

“When I saw you guys I knew I had to talk to you.”

And like 100,000 other amazing cool things. The story is too long to write but I’ll just include highlights. At one point he asked us if there was one teaching or one thing that we would want him to take away from this message, the Book of Mormon and everything what should it be? And I said, “that Christ lives.” And his eyes just lit up and he was like, “NO WAY! HES ALIVE?” ahha It was awesome. He actually has a good knowledge of the Bible. And at the end we gave him a BOM and he took it and said, “I’m reading this book and I’m definitely going to your church next week. So that was a huge morale booster

I’m pretty sure I’ll get transferred because I’ve been here for a cool minute. My companion is kinda sad because he doesn’t like our area. He’s not the most positive guy in the world though ahah. But I hope I go to Los Cabos or Mazatlan. But that’s just hopeful thinking. Not a whole lot of crazy stories this week. 

It’s kinda interesting people always try to get us to interpret their dreams, and I’ve had various run-ins with people “supposedly” possessed by demons. Who knows? I actually think a few are that I know here. But I’d rather not focus too much in that. Some times it’s really frustrating when we teach people. We were teaching this apostolic guy and he refused to ask to know if what we said is true. Lots of trials these past couple weeks.

We did a special fast for Obdulia this past week so she could get an answer. And we had a super spiritual and awesome lesson with her in a member’s home and it was like the perfect recipe for a lesson. We talked about Joseph Smith and how Satan attacked him before his prayer because that’s what he does. He tempts us the most when were at the point of doing something right. And so we asked her to say a prayer to know if she should be baptized, and she said, “okay” and she kneeled down and everything. Then she refused to pray. And we said, “hey you know what’s happening right now, that’s the adversary telling you not to pray. If you pray now you’ll get your answer.” And she just said , “No. No, I can’t do it and got up and left the lesson.

It was really rough, but I learned that many people will accept that its true but not all will act on it. It’s sort of like what Elder Bednar said about having a testimony and being converted are two very different things. It sucks when they know it’s true but doing do anything about it.

THATS SO AWESOME ABOUT JONATHANS GOAL. I’m super bummed though because there’s no video. I’m glad you’re all doing well. That’s super funny that Josh is working at Mcdonalds. And as far as the package goes, whatever talks you guys like the best you can put on it, and if you haven’t already bought the garments, I’d like to try the under armour kind because the mesh rip REALLY easily.

I’ll keep praying so Josh gets in and it all goes well!

Thanks for everything! Love you all take care! 

Elder Latimer

P.S. Also I’m starting to like the cheezy mexican music. It’s different when you understand it ahah

March 9, 2015

Hi All:

This week was a little difficult. Our numbers were a lot better, and we had way more people in sacrament meeting which was nice, but I still feel like I’m not having the success that I want to have. It’s sort of frustrating sometimes because I feel like I’m very obedient and I work hard and study hard and all that jazz but I see more disobedient missionaries have more success than me. But I know that baptisms or numbers don’t show how much success you’ve had. 

The most frustrating is that we had like 4 people completely ready to be baptized and like 3 of them completely rejected it. It really hurts to work with someone for so long and to make sacrifices for them and study for them and help them and watch them progress and grow and then turn away from it. The worst is that they know it’s true. So that made it kind of a difficult week.

But we had fun yesterday. Someone threw tear gas in the system in church ahha. We all ran out coughing it was crazy. I was teaching a primary class and 2 or 3 kids start coughing, and then all of them start coughing. I just sat there thinking it was a prank or some stupid thing they were doing then I start coughing and one of the adults comes in and says GET THE KIDS OUT OF HERE ahha. No one got hurt or anything it was just a little disruptive ahha.

Today was really fun, we went and bowled and played pool. My companion got a little mad at me because he was beating me the whole time in bowling then I caught up and the final couple frames he choked, and I threw 2 strikes and a spare ahha. I beat him by 4 points. He wasn’t too happy about that. He kept asking me, “How is that even possible?!” ahha. Then we played pool as companionships, and he refused to be on my team, and I beat him all 3 times ahha. He wasn’t to happy about that either. He said, “I JUST WANT TO LOSE FOR ONCE,” and I told him that, “If you’re not first you’re last.” ahha.

The guy we met and taught doesn’t live in our area so I already passed along the reference. Kinda bummed about that but it was a great experience. I don’t think we’re gonna see a baptism this change but who knows? Maybe someone’s heart will change last minute! A less active lady we brought to church gave me a watch because mine is just a piece of paper that says, “Gucci” ahah. 

I’m kinda ready to get changed. I kinda got fed up with people here ahha. Mostly just investigators who aren’t progressing and reject what they know. That’s kinda a bummer but I’m trying to stay positive and I know I’ll see some great blessings from it. I figure this hard work here will pay off later on, and I’ll still get the fruits from it even if I don’t get them here.

I feel kinda lonely here because my companion never talks and his excuse is that he doesn’t always have something to say or that he doesn’t have to respond to everything. And he never talks to anyone. Every day when we eat with members he only says “si” or “no” when they ask if he wants more. Then he says “gracias” when we leave. I tell him every day he needs to talk more because it’s really rude just to show up and eat their food and leave and not say anything. I don’t know. I’m trying to be patient but just because he doesn’t talk makes me feel like I’m doing everything alone sometimes. 

That’s sad Brandon died. I used to hang out with him. He was on the wrestling team when I was captain. That’s a bummer.

That’s good Josh still has a chance to get into BYUI. It’s crazy Jordan and John and Jared are all gonna be home so soon. Jordan has like 6 more months than me or something like that. It goes by really fast though we have transfers this week so I’ll let you know where I go. 

Can’t really think of anything else cool that happened this week. Sort of a lot of bummers. I was kinda depressed the last couple nights because by 8 at night we had nothing to do and literally no one was outside and we’re not allowed to just knock on random doors.

That’s good about Oliver! Thanks for keeping me up on everything!

Love you all

Elder Latimer

March 16, 2015

Dear Everyone,

This week was pretty awesome, but as far as investigators goes it sucked. But we had a lot of fun. I got changed to a ward called Cohluacan were there are only two missionaries in the ward so that’s kinda nice, which means all the members live in our area, but there’s only like 50 members in the ward. But I’m excited to be here. I think we’re gonna have a lot of success together. I’m still here in Culiacan, Sinoloa, so maybe in a few more months I’ll get to visit La Baja or Los Cabos. 

So it was a funny week. We went with a lot of members to say goodbye but it sort of sucked because I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to, but that’s okay. The bishop and the family Alvarez are super awesome. I’m gonna miss them a lot. The Alverez´s want me to come back after the mission and hang out with them more ahha. The people here are so awesome. I’m gonna miss them a lot but I’m excited to be here. I feel a little bit bad for my son because he’s not very excited to stay in that area. It kinda sucks there ahha.

But we went to go say bye to everyone after we got our changes and we  went to go visit a family. And they have to huge dogs: one pittbull named Thor and another lab named Kalimba. And they just started fighting super bad and biting and destroying each other. They apparently fight all the time because they both want to be Alpha. But Thor grabbed him by the ear and just about ripped it off. They fought like crazy for 7 minutes, and we grabbed them by the tails and threw them out into the street were they kept fighting. Then some old dude came out and hit them with a stick until they separated, but they came back just soaked in blood. It was really cool. I’ve never seen a dog fight before, I actually took a picture with both the dogs together right before the fight ahah.

So that was awesome. I didn’t get to see Edwin when I left because he wasn’t home so that was a bummer. Also Obdulia told me she wanted to be baptized Saturday, then we went home and started to plan it all and she calls me and says she can’t because her kids don’t want her to, and I just said, “Yup, that’s what i thought.” I also didn’t get to visit a single investigator or the less active family we activated so that was a bummer. But it’s okay. I’m excited to be here. I’m trying to send photos right now. I have a lot to send this week so get ready. 

Lots of awesome moments and great people. Also, we got sick zone shirts that have our names on them and little cartoon drawings of every companionship. They’re pretty sick. We also played a hilarious prank on my comp. We all just decided to start sprinting on the count of 3 when we were walking in the street. He just screamed and bolted hahha. He beat all of us running too, ahhaa. I just about died laughing. We had like 1,000 funny moments like that but not enough time to name them all. But im gonna miss that ward and the district I was in.

I also had another dream about the temple this past week. It was weird. I got married but didn’t talk to the lady I married. Then part of the ordinance was going down a water slide. I’m gonna go ahead and say that it may not have been divinely sent dream ahah. Things are good though.

I love you all and thanks for everything!!

Elder Latimer