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