Thursday, January 7, 2016

November and December Letters and Pics!

November 9, 2015

Dear Everyone:

This week was pretty awesome. U wrote down some stuff I wanted to mention to you guys but mostly they’re just stupid stories! This was a super fun week we laughed a lot and worked hard and are finding new people.

Some drunk guys start talking to us in the street and tell us they’re gonna kill us because they’re Chapo Guzman’s cousins and a bunch of crap like that. Then they demand that we teach them something. So my companion starts talking about the word of wisdom, etc. and they didn’t like that one bit. They said a whole bunch of ridiculously funny stuff but the best part was one said to us, "Look here, I’m Jesus, you’re Jesus, we’re all Jesus!" and so I said "You’re right. Let’s put our hands in here in a circle and on the count of three we’ll yell JESUS!" ahahah And they did it. It was great. They didn’t yell Jesus but they put their hands in the middle. (Also in this context they used the name “Jesus” as a normal person’s name because one of them was actually named Jesus. So it wasn’t sacreligious or anything!!!

After reading these stories, all I can think is "Oh, President Velez what have you done making me a zone leader?" ahah 

We’re teaching the Velazquez family, and we put baptismal dates with them! They’re super awesome and were super committed to go to church yesterday but for some reason they didn’t go! We waited and waited but they never got there. But we have an appointment to day so well see what’s up.

We’ve been contacting lots in the street. Normally we have like 25 or 30 street contacts a week. So we find super cool people, but most of them don’t live in our area. But it’s cool how the Spirit guides us and allows us know who to contact. Like yesterday we were walking and I felt I should talk to some guy, but I ignored it because we had an appointment. A block later I felt I should go back, so we went back and talked to him he invited us right in and we put an appointment with him for another day. Its good knowing that were not working alone here and The Lord guides us.

It’s not hot here anymore. That’s cool that Abby and Ashtin and Kaleb are all out in the mission field. Send me their emails so I can write them! And mom, I’m not getting married to anybody! I’m gonna be single forever like George Clooney! ahah.

Okay for Christmas my companion wants a Melchizedek ring like mine (I forgot how to spell it in English) and an oil vile, and a SLC temple tie clip. I would like a sweater vest! peppermint bark, mint fudge (that mom makes) and I think that’s it. Mostly we just want candy. ahahha

But I also wanted to ask about my driver’s license. I lost it a while back and I want to know what I should do to renew it and get a new one. 

But everything is great here! Thanks for writing. Everything is just swell here lots of good stuff happening!

Also I wanna know about the election! And Halloween. Send me pictures!

Love Elder Latimer

November 16, 2015

Hi all:

This week was pretty calm and pretty normal. We had our zone meeting. It was awesome. We talked a lot about unity and have the courage to leave behind investigators that aren’t progressing and trust that in a later date with other missionaries they will get baptized.

Things are calm here. Kaleb is in the Baja, California Sur so I won’t be seeing him! ahah He also doesn’t have a phone for some reason so I haven’t talked to him. I’ll write him today though. I called his district leader and he said he would tell Kaleb to call me but nothing yet. 

We haven’t been able to visit any of our investigators that have baptismal dates this week. They sort of fell off the face of the earth. But were looking for new people we started a sweet activity me and my companion made a gold box (gold plates) and inside we put in a Book of Mormon and pamphlets and dvds and stuff like that. So were gonna give it to a member family each week so they can pass the stuff out to their friends. 

Also I have got some sweet connections with an Elder here who can order special missionary name tags that have the mission name on them and a scripture on the back. You can get them in whatever language too! So I’m gonna ask for a few. If anyone wants one let me know! They only cost 45 pesos. Also if you could send me some money I’m gonna buy some sweet new scripture covers that would be sweet. The’yre like 1000 pesos. 

I heard and read a little bit about the manual changes, but it wasn’t very clear to me. From what I understood is that basically if you’re gay married (ahha) you get church disciplinary action and those children of gay parents who go out on a mission have to denounce the practice of gay marriage but not their parents. And those children who live with gay parents won’t be able to receive the priesthood, which I didn’t understand very clearly as to why. It wasn’t very clear to me obviously because I don’t get a manual. 

All the members turning against the Bretheren reminds me of a scripture that says “the love of men will grow cold and their hearts will fail them.” (D&C 45) Also in Paul’s epistle to Timothy when he says that:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledgeof the truth.

Being a missionary is sweet. Also let me know when I need to sign up for classes and all that junk or will I have time to do it when I get back? Nothing is really new here, were finding cool people and having funny street contacts. Last night this catholic guy told us "I love God. I don’t really understand anything though. I go to church and when they say “amen” I say a”men,” open the bible say whatever you want and you’ll get an amen from me." I really like meeting funny people in the street. 

Also I don’t know if I told you but sushi here is awesome. It’s made with carne asada shrimp avocado cream cheese and it’s deep fried!!! Way better than normal sushi. You’ll have to come here on vacation and try it sometime. I love it. 

Things are great here have a great week! Love you guys. 

November 23, 2015

Hi All:

First off, what’s a man bun?!?!?! I’m not sure if I want to know. I want a bomb sniffing rat!!!!! Please send me one that would be so sweet! That’s great everyone is gonna be home for Thanksgiving. Here people don’t even celebrate it so they just jump from Halloween/day of the dead immediately to Christmas! So that’s cool also well get to participate in a new initiative for the church, "A Savior is Born" so that should be sweet. 

Dad send me a picture of your new car! That sounds pretty sweet. That’s good Joe is really focused on school, sounds like everything is going good.

This week was pretty tough. We had like 2 days of straight rejections and stuff. 1 guy wanted to bash with us and started telling us a whole bunch of crap and saying he read a book called the "true story of joseph smith" ahah. But he was saying a whole bunch of garbage. I don’t remember the whole story of what was said but at one point I just said "how many times have you read the Book of Mormon or the Bible?" and he stutters and says "well ummm like... ummm" and I said "Exactly, you don’t even know what you’re talking about it. Go read it at least once then you can come back and talk to us." That seemed to shut him up.

A similar experience happened the next day. But the guy wasn’t as contentious. But I’ve noticed in the mission I’ve never been left without words. I’ve always been able to defend and testify. And it always leaves them quiet. It’s kinda cool because we obviously defend with scriptures and teach then then testify but I’ve noticed that bible bashing gets you no where, and no matter how much knowledge you have or how well you know the scriptures the people aren’t gonna believe you unless you share a sincere testimony. 

Later that day some drug addict was walking around asking for alms ahhaah "alms for the poor." He said he needed money to buy a taco so instead of giving him money I gave him some cookies i was eating, and my comp gave him his water bottle. He stood there for like 10 seconds then yells a swear word and throws my cookies and my comps water into the street.... And I had just bought those cookies so that was really sad. 

Then like half an hour later a blind lady was trying to cross a really busy street at 7 at night! So we go out and help her across. She explains to us that she’s trying to take a bus so she can beg for money. So we stop and help her flag down a bus, a couple pass by and one finally stops and right when she’s about it get on the bus driver sees who she is and speeds off. Then she starts yelling at my comp saying "what did you do you $%&()? Why did he drive away!!!!" ahahah She wasn’t very grateful but eventually we helped her get on a bus. It was quite a day.

But we are teaching an awesome new family that lives kinda far away. But they’re family of the bishop of this ward and the bishop of another ward (my first area). They’re super awesome and have come to church twice and accepted baptism. So well probably see some baptisms soon because they have a lot of support and came to church of their own will no one invited them. Plus the dad’s sisters are both members and wives of the bishops. So pure power.

Also we found an awesome Christian guy. He’s the son of a reference we received. His dad died a month ago. But he invited us right in and fed us and talked with us for like 20 minutes. The sad thing is that he doesn’t live in our area. But it’s always a great experience finding people. 

You guys should send me some pictures (through email) of us skiing and stuff. Also I don’t know if I told you guys but I need a little money to buy new scripture cases. I don’t know if you’d be able to send me some?

Things are really great here. We didn’t get changed so I’ll be here for Christmas. 

Love, Elder Latimer

November 30, 2015

Dear All:

This week was great. Lots more success. The family were teaching went to church again and we put baptismal dates with them for January 2nd so we’re stoked about that. I’m pretty sure they’ll get baptized before then. It would cool to have a "White Christmas". The members are helping us a lot. We work a lot with the Patriarch and his family. They always come with us to visit people, invite us over to eat, etc. Actually today in the morning we went over decorated a Christmas tree and ate breakfast and talked for a while so that was fun.

Thanksgiving sucked. I didn’t even remember until like midday. But luckily I ate a turkey sandwich for breakfast so that counts. A sister in our zone told me her parents sent her like 8 pounds of mashed potatoes and stuffing but totally forgot it was Thanksgiving and didn’t eat it. It’s sad here basically after Halloween everyone puts up Christmas lights, but I’ve been rebuking the practice, and telling them that putting up Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving is not of God.

I don’t know if I’ll die in this area. I feel like I’ve got one more left. There’s been lots of talk that I’m going to be the next assistant. But I like being a Zone Leader because you get to work with lots of missionaries so I kinda hope I stay here. Maybe for my final transfer I’ll go to the Baja! But who knows?

Oh I know an elder that can order special missionary name tags with scriptures on the back and the mission name like the mission presidents have so I ordered one for dad in Chinese, one for Josh, Joe, Tyler, and Ryan. If the littles want one with a scripture tell me what scripture they want! Also dad and Josh should tell me if there’s a specific scripture you want. Or if dad wants it in English and not Chinese. 

Things are going really good. We’re gonna have some baptisms soon. Oh dad, I have a question. I’ve studied it and think I have the answer, but I’d like to hear what you think. When we get baptized, it’s in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost, but after that every other ordinance in the church is done in the name of Jesus Christ. Why is the ordinance of baptism done differently?

Yesterday there was a new convert fireside that no one told us about until like 4 hours before it started and they also asked that I could prepare a 10 minute talk... ahha. That happens a lot here. They’re like "We’ll just tell the missionaries like half an hour before that they have to talk and they’ll be fine." It has happened to me a ton in the mission. But it’s okay, it helps you come up with stuff really quick. But it was good because I got to see a ton of people from my first area. Time goes by really fast 

My companion was actually playing the prelude music and the bishop walks up and says "Elder can you give a ten minute talk on the atonement?" ahha like 5 minutes before the meeting started but all went well.

Tomorrow we have a leadership conference so that should be exiting. Also we have a new initiative of the Christmas video that came out so hopefully like last year well see a lot of success from that. I miss playing sports. I feel like my legs are all skinny now because I never get to run or jump or do stuff like that. I’m super jealous that you all got to play in the turkey bowl. 

That’s cool that Joe and Josh are having lots of fun in school. I’m excited to be up there with them soon. I hope Ryan goes, that would be a blast. 

All is well in Zion. Zion prospers, ahha. Have a good week! Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

December 7, 2015

Dear All:

This week was pretty great. We had 4 baptisms in the zone and had our leadership conference and zone meeting so it was a really busy week with lots of meetings and interviews but it was fun. The family Medina feels a little nervous about their baptismal date and feel it’s a little soon. But I think once they start reading and everything they’ll have the desire to do it but we’re not gonna push them or anything.

It was pretty cool, they live really very away in a little "pueblo". I don’t know what the English equivalent would be because it’s not a village, more like a small town. ANYWHO, they live really far away and the 2 parents could go to church because they got called into work. So they sent their 3 kids in a bus to the church ahha. It was great to see that they like going and understand it’s important that they go. 

We were able to teach a great lesson. We cut out and laminated pictures form the Ensigns and taped them to plastic cups and made a pyramid to teach about how Christ established his church. It was cool and they promised to teach it to their parents later that night. We also gave them a BOM.

Also we have a special goal as a mission to have a baptism in every area this month, so we did a special fast for that and were hoping to see a lot of miracles this month.

Today we got together as a zone to practice a musical number for the mission Christmas party, so we played ping pong (with the stuff you guys gave me for Christmas last year). It was the first time I used it, but it was a blast! We also made brownies (the ones you guys sent me) and we played spoons. Our zone is super awesome and we have a lot of fun together.

Things are going great pretty excited for this month. We’re gonna have a lot of success. That Christmas party looked like a lot of fun. It doesn’t feel like Christmas here because it’s hotter than Africa.

Also were teaching a less active member haha, He’s hilarious. He’s like 50 and lives alone and has like 6 dogs but he’s awesome. He’s super lazy and gets tired after doing the littlest things. And we were teaching him once and 2 of his dogs started "creating physical bodies for puppies in the spirit world" and my comp says "ummmm your dogs are doing something...." and the less active gets up and yells "NOOOO, I CANT AFFORD TO HAVE ANYMORE DOGS!!!!" ahha and runs over and starts hitting them with a broom. But alas he was too late ahhaha. What a great lesson it was. 

But he’s going to church now and always buys ice cream for us so I’m not complaining! Oh and I was able to see the devotional. It was great! But like i said it doesn’t feel like Christmas here so I don’t really get home sick. But I love being here. I always get to see people from my old areas ahah. I know like every single person here. The gonna be really sad when I leave. I won’t have time to say goodbye to everyone :(


Elder Latimer

December 14, 2015

Dear Everyone:

It was a great week. My package got here, and we loved it! Especially all the candy. My comp is really grateful for the stuff you sent him and I’m jealous because you sent him a really cool tie. But I loved it. I got to use the sweet sweater vest for the Tiajuana temple dedication and got a lot of (mostly sincere) compliments! It’s almost too much candy to eat so I’m sharing a lot of it ahha.

This week a guy called us from Phoenix, AZ, telling us that we contacted him in the street like 2 months ago, and he kept the card we gave him with our phone number. He then told us that he got baptized 2 weeks ago in Arizona!! whoooooo!! It’s cool seeing the fruits of our labor. Also he gave us the address of his mom and sister because he wants us to visit them so were pretty stoked about that. It’s cool to see what can happen when you just open your mouth and invite someone. Makes me think of all the people that may have joined the church just because we chose to give them a pass along card and help them.

I’m really sick. I went to the doctor today and there are 2 horrible diseases that mosquitos have here, which are dengue and chincunguya. It’s sort of like a Mexican malaria ahha. But Saturday my bones ached really, really bad, but we went out to work anyways in the rain and I think that made it worse. Then I had a really high fever all night and couldn’t hardly sleep and then my throat hurts so much that it’s hard to eat anything AND I have hives all over my body. 

The doctor ruled out dengue so it’s almost sure I have chincunguya, but I have to go back Wednesday to do some more tests. Also I haven’t eaten in 2 days because we did a special fast as a zone to have some baptisms and when we finished the fast I didn’t feel good enough to eat. Also I have diarrhea. WHOOO CHRISTMAS MIRACLES!!! ahha But I’m happy I guess. Also this sickness I have can last for a week or 3 months so hopefully I’ll get better quickly! I hope so because I don’t have a fever anymore and my bones don’t ache! 

Also my comp sort of wants me to go out and work, which kinda sucks. OHH! And thanks for the books!!! They’re awesome! I’m almost done reading The Great Apostasy. It’s a great book!. Also I think I have a cavity because I haven’t gone to the dentist in like 2 years. It doesn’t hurt but I can see it. Should I just wait till I get home to get it checked?

i also know how to solve the Rubik’s cube. Just shows that applying yourself every time you go to the bathroom has unlimited possibilities. 

That’s cool you guys are in NYC. I’m surprised it’s not a lot colder HASHTAG globalwarming

Also our investigators are doing really well. They didn’t get to come to church because of the temple dedication, and they were kinda bummed about that. It’s kinda a slow process because we don’t see them very much so it’s kinda frustrating. But we’re happy. I really don’t know if I’ll get changed. We have changes in 3 weeks so well see! I really like this ward so I don’t mind if I stay!

Things are just dandy. Umm, I’m not sure what else I need to tell you guys... Just thanks a lot for the package, it was awesome. You guys thought of everything! I actually really enjoyed the socks (they were much needed). I think this was the first Christmas that I actually got socks for Christmas. It’s quite the cliché. Also the extendible backscratcher it makes daily and weekly planning much more enjoyable. 

I don’t have much time to write so if I forgot something please forgive me! I love you guys! Have fun in NYC

Elder Latimer

December 21, 2015

All is well in Zion. The doctors aren’t sure exactly what it was because I had all the symptom of dengue and chincunguya, but it didn’t show up in the blood work. But I’m better now!! It was a pretty horrible experience. I had a super high fever and I broke out in hives. I got tons on my feet and they itched so bad, but no amount of cream, powder, water etc. could calm the itch haha. It was crazy. I never had something like that before. So I didn’t get much sleep.

Also the fever was so high that I got a bunch of blisters on my face, very charming. So I didn’t work for like 3 days so I was bored out of my mind and read a lot, and made a lot of funny videos.I’lll have to show you when I get back.

We had our mission Christmas party too. It was awesome. We did special musical numbers as zones, played a lot of games, ate great food and we watched a Disney movie!!!! Best day ever. I haven’t seen a normal person movie in forever. It was "inside out" I really liked it. I also beat President Velez in musical chairs and my socks and vest were a big hit! I was glorious. #davidarchuleta

I won’t write too much so we can talk about stuff. I think I’ll call Christmas eve around like 5 or 6 if that’s okay. Unless we can find another member to let us call Christmas morning. But I’ll call Christmas eve to talk/to let you know I’ll call Christmas morning soooo yea. Dad your foot is gross but cool. My companion almost puked when he saw the pictures. Who took them???


Elder Latimer

December 28, 2015

Hello! It was good seeing you guys, even though I couldn’t think of anything to talk about. After I had hung up and ton of stuff came to mind, and lots of stories. This week was pretty calm, really not a lot of work because of the holidays. But we had fun. The members gave us sooo much candy it was ridiculous. We have enough chocolate and cookies to last us a while. 

The sisters in our zone had a miracle baptism this week. The son of some members (who is like 30 years old) had been reading the Book of Mormon by himself and decided to get baptized. He’s from another state in Mexico so he came all the way to Culiacan to get baptized right after Christmas so that was cool.

On Christmas the members who were gonna give us food forgot, so we bought sushi, then in the evening we got invited to a member’s house to drink/eat ponche which is like boiled fruits with cinnamon and deep fried tortillas on the side it was pretty good. Then they gave us coffee mugs filled with chocolate, and they drew Jake and Fin (from adventure time) in missionary form on them and put our name there too. It was pretty great, the members here are awesome and treat us like family. 

That’s super sad that Jace lost his drone. You guys should send me some pictures from Christmas. I’d love to see what everyone got. 

Also my friend is telling me the apartments were you signed us up to live have like super strict rules and don’t let you do anything. He wants to live in Nauvoo. I don’t know if that would be a problem for Joe and Tyler. He says they have curfew guards and if you’re a minute late they dont let you in. sooo ahah but if they can’t I’m still fine living there! Or if they want to live at the Ridge! It’s in front of the temple and close to campus

Hmmm what else to tell you guys... nothing really. We were able to teach some good lessons and give lots of blessings on Saturday. We gave a blessing to an investigator that had a stroke or has Parkinsons and he can’t talk very well, then to 2 sisters in our zone, and to a member from one of my old areas who called us and asked for one. It’s a great blessing to be able to serve others and to be able to help when called upon

Pretty great week! i hope you guys are doing good! if you’re on right now feel free to respond!! 

Love you guys

Elder Latimer

January 4, 2016

Hi All:

This week was pretty chill, not too much. Umm, we had changes and I got changed. I’m the new assistant to the President so I’m kinda nervous, but excited at the same time. It’s awesome because we get to go to Los Cabos and La Paz and Mazatlan like once very change so that’s cool. Also we get to eat breakfast with the new missionaries and go to the final dinner of the elders and sisters who are going home! So it has its perks.

This week was really slow. NYE is crazy. People just get drunk and shoot guns and then the whole New Year’s day they keep getting drunk. It’s quite impressive actually.  They’re pretty diligent. 

So we said goodbye to all the members and we didn’t get to see too many investigators and the changes were crazy. We have a ton of work to do and lots of reports so that’s kinda hard but it’ll be fun. 

I would love to go snowboarding and to conference but I also would like being home. It’s kinda hard to decide if you could give me an idea of when we would go or for how long it would be that would be great. 

I just need to know what kinda stuff I have to do when I get home -- like shop and dentists and doctors and what not!

Things are great here. I don’t have a whole lot of time to tell you what’s going on but there’s nothing too much here!! Miss you guys a lot! Hope all is well!!!

Elder Latimer

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