Write to Elder Latimer

Elder Latimer would love you to write to him! His e-mail address is joshua.latimer@myldsmail.net.

If you want to send him a package his current mailing address is:
749 Winfield Ave #3, Winfield, Wv 25213.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in West Virginia (actually Virginia!)

We had a lot of fun talking to Elder Latimer via Skype on Christmas morning!  He is doing well and had a great Christmas!  The last one in the mission field.  We are so excited for him and happy he has chosen to serve!  Here is a picture!

December 9, 2013

Hi [Everyone]!

We did have an ice storm yesterday, so we ended up staying inside. We planned on going out because it didn't look bad outside, but when we walked out of the apartment we about fell. The road and sidewalk was just coated with a sheet of ice, so we played monopoly for like 7 hours... then saw the Christmas devotional at a member’s house. I thought it was all right, kinda weird I guess, just because it wasn't the First Presidency and they included videos and voices... so I wasn't sure how I felt about it.

The Blankenships are doing good. We are meeting with them tomorrow. They are slowly progressing we just need to get them to church, and with Lexi its hard to meet so we meet with her on Wednesdays before mutual. She is still just stubborn and won’t say what her hold up is.

When we taught Tammy and her fiancé, James (the woman with the temple pictures) it went really well. They had a lot of questions and seemed to understand and were excited for church. But it got cancelled because of the weather, so next week they will come. Although I can officially say I am teaching a pirate! James has the beard, the long hair, the pirate hat, the boots, the leather vest and pants, and pirate flags and swords all over his house.... he is 50 years old, bless his heart. But a good guy who wants to learn so that's good.

And with that story of Oliver [our dog who was scared of a dead squirrel], I guess that kinda answers the question of what would a dog do with a car if he caught it. I guess they never thought that far ahead and when it happens they just stare at it.

That's insane about Sark... I’m actually kinda mad. Well, really mad. I liked him as a coach. He didn't seem like the guy to just leave... especially for USC (I just threw up in my mouth a little). But the news about Coach Pete is bitter sweet. I never thought he would leave BSU, now I don't know what they will do. He turned offers down from top 10 teams and NFL teams. Why he went to UW, I don't know, but I’m excited for that. I know when I’m back at BSU I’ll be getting some crap for that. Oh well, GO DAWGS! Especially because they play BYU... I can’t wait to talk smack to all the BYU missionaries!

I can’t believe the hawks lost... I guess they are playing with a 3rd string DB but that's still not good enough. Hopefully we can clinch home field advantage for playoffs and take it to the Superbowl.

I’m pretty excited for next week on P-day. A less active invited us to go bear hunting with him. Although we can’t hold or shoot the guns we an still go so im excited for that. Although Elder Proctor tried to talk me out of it. But I was too insistent. Now I get to go hunting on P-day instead of clean the toilet or something....

And for Christmas we are going to ask people on Sunday who can let us Skype at their house so I will let you know next week.

Love you!

Elder Latimer 

December 16, 2013

Hi All!

I did get that coat [for Christmas], and its great thank you!

Right now the Blankenships are progressing but very slowly. We taught a lesson on how to receive revelation the other day and it went really well. After reading a few scriptures Matt had his book of Mormon out and seemed to zone out but it was ok because he was reading the Book of Mormon! Pretty intently it looked like, They answered a lot of questions and it was awesome. Although the problem is their daughter is the same age as our mission leaders daughter. Yana (the mom) told us everything that is going on. In short the two girls are fighting, so we have a little problem there and having them come to church. I can understand why they wouldn't.  What makes the story fit better is the girls are14 years old. I hope I never have girls...

Tammy and James (her fiancé) are going really well! She came to church yesterday and loved it! She had asked about baptism during sacrament, and told our ward mission leader, “its not me you have to worry about its getting my fiancé!” So she sounds like she wants to be baptized, we are meeting with them tomorrow and will plan on setting them on date! (By the way she dresses like a pirate all the time too.)

Ill be sure to get a picture with the pirate before I leave the area. It’s the easiest way to ask for a picture without offending him and his pirate costume.

And I wish I could be snowboarding the year. It sucks knowing that West Virginia has some great places to go. But I will be able to next year! Tat would be cool if Jake got his call on or before Christmas. I’ll pray for it! And I did get the box thank you guys! It’s hard having all those presents there but making myself wait!

I’m glad the hawks won. I want them to lose sometimes so I don't miss their Superbowl trip, but at the same time I want them to win so I can have bragging rights the rest my mission.

And we are still looking for a place to Skype, I will let you know next Monday what is happening.

We are going bear hunting today, but not until they get back for lunch cause Elder Proctor was insistent on studying in the morning and not evening. It is fine for us to go, as long as we don't handle or fire any weapons.

Love you all!

Elder Latimer

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving, a Baptism, and Icy Roads!

November  20, 2013

Hi Everyone!
So It’s kind of good and bad news. I’m staying here which means I get to be here for Aliyah’s baptism…but Elder Thueson is leaving,. My new companion is Elder Proctor.
This week has been pretty good. We spent a lot of time in the mornings helping our bishop in building his new house. He has been working on it for months and now that winter is coming fast we figured we will do our best to help speed up the process. It really doesn’t help that its dark by 6:30! So we figured we would help so he isn’t stuck by himself working 10 hour days in below freezing and in the dark!
We were talking with Aliyah and Lexi and they had expressed that they were not ready to be baptized. So Elder Thueson and I went over and had a talk with them and their parents about it. Afterwards Aliyah (the older one) was more than ready to continue on.  It is really cool how much of a change we have seen in her. When we first started teaching she didn’t say anything, didn’t look interested, and had her hair over her eyes. Now whenever we meet her hair is pulled back, she is smiling, and more than willing to participate. So she will be getting baptized this Saturday! We will keep working with Lexi. She is just being difficult we think, being a 13 year old girl. We are sure that soon after Aliyah is baptized she will follow. 

We met with the Blankenships again this week, and they are still slowly progressing.  We also went to their oldest daughter’s basketball game, and she seemed to be happy about that. We plan on being a little bit more bold with them, hoping they will spark them. We are going to watch the long Joseph Smith movie and then “Safety for the Soul” by Elder Holland, so we will see how that goes.
The ward is full of easy going people who complain about the one member couple we have here from another state who are all pretty uptight - like beyond. She is in her 40's, and thinks she is still a missionary. She enjoys correcting us whenever the chance arrives. She likes to call out investigators in gospel principles (members too) and tries to look through our computer history at the library. They are an odd family anyway. Their older son loves to grow plants. And our ward mission leader was telling us about how the oldest son who is 15 will sit there and spit loogies on his hand and use it like soap? The oldest daughter (at least 12) in sacrament meeting will regular eat her boogers. It’s hard to express in an e-mail but that family has caused a lot of problems...
Anyways things are still gong alright.  Just stressing out about this transfer!
Love you!
Elder Latimer

November 25, 2013

Hi Everyone!

This Thanksgiving We actually got it approved by President Pitt to go with our ward mission leader to Roanoke, VA with his family and friends for Thanksgiving. I may see Elder Thueson there because he is serving in the YSA Ward. I’m hoping we can work out getting there at 8 am as opposed to 11am because at 8 am the YSA are playing in a Turkey Bowl, and they want us to join, but since we are getting a ride with Bro. Gentry, we probably won’t make it sadly.

Things with my new companion are good.  He is a nice kid. We are just always doing something, which I guess is good.

We did have Aliyah’s baptism yesterday! It was awesome, there was an amazing turnout, mostly her family and some members as well. We had set up 3 rows of 6 chairs, and ended up having to set up 6 rows of 7 chairs! Afterward we went to lunch with them, and she seemed pretty happy! Poor Lexi [her sister] seemed left out. Her parents kept saying "Lexi your next!" Talk about pressure. Hopefully, it’ll be good for her.

We did have a pretty cool experience this week. We got a call from Bro. Gentry (ward mission leader), and he said his daughter, Sherad, is good friends with Hannah Blankenship, who is the older daughter of the family we are teaching. He told us she (Hannah) had a heart attack that morning. So after the baptism we went to check on her. We talked for a while, and she agreed to receive a blessing. Anyway we found out yesterday that as she went back to the doc to check her heart, they said she is perfectly healthy again. They don't expect her to get another heart attach anytime soon. Pretty much until she is old, but that was such a cool experience and hopefully boosts the family to continue to learn!

And for Christmas I was thinking about one of those nice Carhart jackets to keep warm. This winter seems like it’ll get pretty cold, and it’ll be nice for back home and in Boise! They are the ones that are around $110-$120 though. There is a store here that seems to get pretty good deals, compared to other stores. If anything, money would work perfect and I could just go and get it and make sure it is the right size! I would also say a GPS but I probably won’t need that soon, because we will be getting iPads :)

That's awesome to hear about the Dawgs, and good to know we have a plan for QB in the future. I’m hoping the hawks can keep it together as well. A member told me that Oregon lost too? I HOPE SO! Also both KC and Denver lost again? I hope that's true!

I’ll be sure to take more pictures with people!

Love you!

Elder Latimer

December 2, 2013

Hi Everyone!

Thanksgiving was good, and sadly, I didn’t get in any football. We got down to Roanoke too late. Roanoke is probably about an hour from me.  But we had a good time with the Gentry family! They are a wild bunch who love their politics. It turned into a debate at the table with raised voices (not in anger just so they could be heard over others), and it was all directed at Bro. Martin (who is sister Gentry’s father) because he voted for Obama and stands by it still.  So that was fun. One thing I’ve noticed in this part of the country is family is everything to them. Although it seems the culture of family up north differs a little bit, I’ve noticed that down south the families are all like best friends to each other – more than I have seen in any family until I came here. But they aren’t as supportive of personal endeavors.  For example, if someone wants to do something and their family doesn’t want them to they always try to persuade them otherwise, and don’t like it if they don’t listen. As opposed to up North where families maybe aren’t as much like "best friends," but are much more supportive in personal things. 

We had 3 dinners that day, so we were plenty full and didn’t do anything besides socialize and eat! It was like another P-day! I’m hoping I can get some football in on my mission at some point though.

We are hoping Lexi [the sister of an investigator who was recently baptized] follows soon. We aren’t sure what her hang up is. I guess she is just the typical 13 year old girl and wants to be stubborn. It doesn’t have to do with friends because in public she always finds us and runs up to us and introduces us to her friends. So we are not sure what her hold up is. Also we had a great lesson with Matt Blankenship, the father of the family we are teaching. We asked him about reading the Book of Mormon, and he said he reads every day at work, but he works with a lot of members of the Riverview Baptist church (notorious for preaching anti-Mormon sermons and providing anti-Mormon classes).  They had told him how there cannot be anything added to the Bible, the classic complaint preachers like to instill in the minds of their drones, and about how no more prophets are on the earth. He asked if there is a chapter in the Book of Mormon that talks about it. We showed him 2 Nephi 29 and discussed it and then watched "My words never cease" by Elder Holland, which is obviously a great person to have explain it to him, Afterward he smiled and asked what the talk was called.  We told him, and he wrote it down in his phone so he can show the guys at work the talk! He agreed with it, and our church’s stance on it. He thinks it only makes sense to have a prophet. He is very prepared, and he wants us to come next week and to teach him how to receive his own revelation about the Church! I think if we can get the father, the family will follow.

The other day we tracted into a lady who had baby sat for an LDS family for 6 years in Richmond, VA. She told us how she learned a lot about the church. She then told us she had something for us to look at. When she came back, she handed us a book with pictures of her and her family when they went to the DC temple on Christmas. She talked about how much she loved it, especially the Christus statue. Then before we could start asking questions, she asked us where our church is, what time it starts, and she told us how she wants to go! So we plan to meet with her again this week! She is pretty sweet.

It is really hard to find people this time of year for a few reasons. One is because of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and they are out of town on the holidays or have family over. It gets dark early, so around 5:30 or 6 everyone is kind of done for the night. The main reason no one is home is because well... its deer season now, so literally over 50% of the people here are gone in the woods! 

One day it had rained 2 1/2 inches and then snowed that night and got into the lower teens. We decided to go visit some members that day who lived up the mountain on a road called Doe Creek. Anyway I was driving up there, and it wasn’t bad, then we slipped every now and then in our 2 wheel drive car. Then we started to slip pretty regularly.  We got to a point in the road that everyone around here knows.  It’s a big C-curve that banks to a huge ditch. Miraculously, we made it past that and about 20 more yards up the road when we lost all traction and began to slide backwards. We caught traction on the side of the road where it wasn’t paved, and as we began to try and turn the car around by backing it up the front end kept sliding towards the middle of the road. Luckily people saw us and waited to see if we needed help something most people back home probably wouldn't have done. We began to slowly creep down the hillside and slid 5 feet or so at a time before regaining enough traction to stop. After 20 minutes we got almost to the side of the road to where one tire was on the unpaved road with traction about a foot and a half away from the ditch. The guys came over and helped us hook up a tow rope to the car and because they wouldn’t be able to get to where we were with their car.  We had to pull by hand with 4 of us although the road was icy enough that we were able to slide the car off the road onto the grass where it wasn’t icy. You couldn’t walk on the road without sliding a good 10 feet down - no exaggeration.  It was the same as walking on an ice rink, but sloped down.

As we sat there trying to decide how to get down, a Nissan with a professor from Indiana saw our car and made the mistake of slowing down.  He lost control and slipped off the C-curve into the ditch where his car was on its side.  He and his 3 year old were fine. That poor guy was so out of his element you should have seen his reaction and face. He was the kind of guy you see in Seattle, scared with the skinny jeans, a weird French or Irish looking hat and a pair of toms.  He was surrounded by all these rednecks with their lifted trucks and guns in the middle of nowhere, stuck in a ditch in a holler.

It was actually pretty entertaining to listen to him talk.  You could tell he had no idea what to do. He asked if he could drive his car out of it to which a redneck with a .45 on his hip said "You aint from round here are ya? How do you expect to get outta there, you ain’t even got a wheel on the ground!" We then saw an old lady driving down the hill in her suburban. She was going to show us all up as she was almost past the curve where she lost traction, and instead of pumping the brakes she held them and slid at about 20 mph into the ditch on her side as well. (As you can tell it was a pretty deep ditch.) At one point we had about 8 or 9 cars/trucks up there trying to figure out what to do. So we called our Ward mission leader, Bro. Gentry, and asked for his help. He owns a brand new dooley turbo diesel Cummins. When we told him where we were he asked, "where on Doe Creek?" and we said "ON Doe Creek." He then asked if we were past Celestial Heights (which, by the way is a street where all Mormons live and that was named by them -- I thought that’s cool) .  We told him we were and his response was "are you joking? I though y’all were smarter than that." He came up to help pull some people out. It was so slippery and icy even on his truck he had to chain his from tires! Anyway, he pulled the two people out and drove the professor the rest the way up to his family for Thanksgiving and we drove back down, half on the road and half on the dirt to keep traction. So that was an interesting experience and makes me grateful for 4-wheel drive vehicles.

That is awesome Jake is getting ready to send his papers in, you should tell him to make a new e-mail to e-mail me because his BYU-I one is retarded.

And I did get my package! THANK YOU! As you know I’m not a big sweets guy but I have almost eaten all the peppermint bark. And when would the money be put on for the jacket so I know when to get it? I can’t think of anything else for you to send me. I think I’m doing fine now.

And I’m glad the Dawgs won! That has been stressing me out all week! Now I can e-mail Rhiannon about it and give her a hard time. Some members were telling me about the Bama/Auburn game! I can’t believe I missed something like that! One second left, tie game, Bama kicks a 57 yard field goal misses short, but it is caught and returned 109 yards for a touchdown to beat Bama! Only in college football!!! I also heard Oregon has lost a few times as well. It’s been a good year! I heard the Hawks are planning on beating the sound record again because the Chiefs had beat them a few weeks ago so it should be something awesome to see!

Love y’all!

Elder Latimer

Monday, November 18, 2013

Move to Virginia!

The webmaster has been deliquent in posting so there are a number of letters this post!  The first thing you should know is that Elder Latimer has been transferred.  His new mailing list is 517 Mason Ct. Drive, #4, Pearisburg, VA 24134.  You can also e-mail him at joshua.latimer@myldsmail.net. He would love you to write him!

October 12, 2013

Hi Everyone:

I got a chance to get on the computers today for a little bit and figured I would let you know that I’m in Pembroke, Virginia now. It’s a pretty cool place. It is a really small just like my last area, but we actually have the stake center here and a ward. I’ve met the bishop and a couple other members. Down here they have a pretty thick accent, and its everyone not just every other like in West Virginia. I really like it here so far, and my companion is awesome. We get along well and have the same interests and outlook on things. My comp’s name is Elder Thueson. He is from Nampa, Idaho, which is like 20 min from Boise. He lived on a farm and worked there his whole life, played football and basketball and also tore his left ACL. He is pretty cool, and we work well together. 

Also we have 11 people on date here. One is a family of 6 who should be baptized this transfer along with a lot of other very promising investigators! So the work his is moving forward, and it will be a nice change to have people to work with! We also are teaching a family who has a 12 year old daughter who is into acting and been in a lot of commercials and has a contract with Disney I think they said.  She is flying out to shoot a movie with Ice Cube and Channing Tatum, which is pretty cool.

Anyway, that’s just the update, and I feel bad putting this in here because I always feel like I’m asking for too much, but it’s getting a little colder here and I’ve gotten 10 pounds bigger and my sweaters for over my white shirts have shrunk in the wash and are too small.  I was wondering if you could transfer some money onto my card so I could get 1 or 2 more to wear so I won’t have to wear that huge ski jacket all the time! Also a little for food? Just because I got all my food in my last area and then I got transferred and now don’t really have any. My support card has money to get me by for a little but I’m not sure how long... sorry. Also would you be able to send me my cleats from when I played at BSU the white and orange ones? The members and investigators like to play football here and with the turkey bowl coming up it would be nice to have them. Also if you can find it my black tank top with the green logo that looks like a heart rate monitor and turns into the sky line? I don’t like to work out in my t-shirts because I don’t have many so I try to save them for service and things. 

Anyways I love you guys! Tell Jake, Joe, Jonathan, and Jace I say “hi!”

I’ll make sure to take a lot more pictures because the leaves are starting to change even more! 

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer 

October 14, 2013

Hi Everyone!

The new area is great! Still a small town but bigger than Pennsboro and has a Wal-Mart! It is a relief to finally get out of Pennsboro. Some people there were great but it was hard with no support from members and no one to teach. So far the ward here is amazing and is all about missionary work and want to help in every way they can.  Having people to teach is nice! Out of the 11 on date 8 are very promising, and we are sure they will make the date of November 16th. We are excited for them. The family of 6 (Blankenships) were a member referral, but I haven’t met them yet. The other two are the daughters of a recent convert who was just baptized last week and in turn re-activated her husband!

And the area you described sounds exactly like where I’m at. The fall colors are really cool, and they aren’t even in full swing yet! I have a few pictures, but they will only get better! I’m excited to do some hikes around here, because I hear they have some really cool ones,  although the coolest one I heard is now shut down because the federal government shut down.

My comp is great – a really chill guy. He had a hard transfer last transfer with his companion, who was pretty difficult from what he tells me. So I think we will have a fun transfer. The other day we actually had to corrall some goats after a member returned from a show they did. That was interesting because I was told not to let one of them choke when it ran as I held its collar because it would pass out.  And as all the other goats walked of course this one tried to run. So in turn I tried to run with it so I wouldn’t choke it. It was an interesting ordeal.

I dont know if i need anything else sent from home other than T-Shirts would be good. Also my cleats I used when I was playing Lacrosse at BSU for when we play football here. Cotton sweaters would be good, just because I don’t want to have to spend the extra money on dry cleaning them.

That’s funny Nana got you some of your own potatoes! I would love to get some in the mail. I’m sure my Idaho companion would enjoy that too!

That’s crazy there are 100 primary kids, that’s almost as many as the ward here has active members!  Didn’t you say they were thinking about splitting out ward?

That’s too bad about your foot how long have you been going to physical therapy for it? I remember I never really liked going because it definitely wasn’t the most comfortable thing to do.

Other than that not much is going on just trying to learn the area better. Still getting settled in.

Love you Guys!

Elder Latimer

I will send you the address later in the day, we have it in the apartment but neither of us can remember what it is.

October 22, 2013

Hi Everyone!

That’s crazy you could see North Korea! Could you see houses and things or just the land? [In response to his dad flying by North Korea on his way to Japan from China]

It really is great to be in a new area! The people here have a much thicker accent than they do in West Virginia, but are still very nice! The family we are teaching is coming along well. We meet with them tonight to teach the third lesson, and we hope to get them to church this Sunday so they can make their date. Actually we might already have to move it back because our bishop here wants them to attend 3 times as opposed to 2 times, which is the mission rule. Also we are teaching a recent convert’s daughters who are 13 and 15. They both have been coming to church regularly and really love the gospel. Their mom told us the other day that they have been telling their friends about the church and inviting them to come!  I haven’t met the others yet. They have been busy and hard to get a hold of, but I’m excited to meet them.

Tomorrow we are having the ward Trunk or Treat. It’s nice having ward activities! From what we have been told, a lot of non-members show up there. We are also having a chili cook off for the adults too, and Elder Thueson and I will be the judges. I’m hoping they don’t have any that are too hot! When I was in Kentucky we had a member make some ghost pepper chili, and I couldnt taste food for like 3 days!

That’s too bad about the Huskies, even worse that they got destroyed! But they will pick it back up I’m sure.  I don’t remember if they play UCLA or not. I’m thinking they do because Stanford played them. If so, I think they can beat them, which will help with our ranking because they have been in the top 15 all year. I’m excited about the Hawks! I’m really hoping they play Denver in the Super Bowl. I have a lot of friends who are huge Bronco fans and it makes me mad, so it’ll be nice having a great match up that will end in me having bragging rights!

This year has gone fast to me too!  In the moment it feels like it’s never going to end and then you look back it seems to have gone by so fast. I guess that’s kind of like everything though. Days feel like weeks, and weeks feel like days.

We talked with Pres. Pitt the other day, and he was telling us we will have Facebook and Twitter and things like they by next year (2014), and he said within a few months we will all have our own personal iPads we take to every area we go as well as iPhones for the areas! How cool would that be?! He says they will be used for a lot of things, but one thing he told us about is that we will download the area book on the iPad and the bishop can track what we are doing and progress of investigators etc... as well as doing online teaching and more! It will be awesome! He also told a story of how a missionary in a mission where they are trying them out was able to teach his parents over Skype so they could be baptized. The same with if there is someone y'all know in another country or a friend somewhere else we could teach them over Skype! And then the missionaries in that area will also be involved, but we can start to teach people in other countries too!

It’s a pretty exciting time! I am glad I don’t have the flu yet.  I think as missionaries we might have a little extra protection from sickness :) At least i hope so! That would be terrible to have the flu out here, because I would be out a few days and then my comp would probably catch it and be out another couple days!

I bet Oliver [the family dog] will make sure to make his place on the new carpet. He just seems like he would do it to frustrate you!

And I got the orders from Macy's, thank you! I have not got my protein and things yet it must have gone to Jake.  Anyways I don’t know how to express how thankful I am!

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

November 4, 2013

Hi Everyone!

This past week has been good.  I just started driving in the area so I will begin to learn it a lot faster.

I heard about the Seahawks last night, a member called and told me they were in OT with Tampa.  I thought he was just trying to get a reaction out of me because I’d been hearing about how bad Tampa Bay was all season. It wasn’t until he texted us that they ended up winning that I believed him.  If he would have said they lost I probably would have thought he was joking. I’m glad they didn’t lose! They need to start playing better if they are going beat Denver in the Super Bowl! 
This week nothing to exciting has happened, just a lot of appointments that fell through. Although we did finally meet with the Blankenship family again and on Sunday the father and one of his daughters came, and they plan on bringing the rest of them next Sunday. Also we had to two girls we are teaching Lexi and Aliyah come. They are set on date for the 16th and we are pretty sure they will make it! But we will have to reset the date with the Blankenships because the father and daughter could make it, but we want them to be baptized as a family.
This Saturday we go to Roanoke, Va with the Southern half of the mission to have a mission conference with Elder Sitati of the Seventy. So that should be a fun, long meeting though 9am-4pm. 
Other than that we plan on hiking the Cascades today, which is a pretty well-known hike in this area of the country, I guess.  It should be pretty cool. I’ll try and take pictures.  I forgot my camera charger in Pennsboro, so my camera is about dead, but it is being sent here soon. Is there anyway y'all could find a cord so I can download pictures onto the computer from the camera so I can e-mail them too?
And I am planning on bringing up doing a turkey bowl on Thanksgiving here for a ward activity for lass actives and investigators. I was asking around and no one around here in West Virginia or Virginia done know what the turkey bowl is. They even said no one plays football on Thursday morning! I thought that was crazy so I want to try and organizing something.
Other than that nothing else is really going on, just the same old routine. I cant think of any good stories now, but I’m sure I’ll remember some soon and have to write them down to send!

Love you guys!
Elder Latimer

November 11, 2013

Hi Everyone!

I’m doing well – just getting things taken care of and trying to keep busy in the area. I enjoyed that story.  Luckily, I haven’t served with a missionary like that. I don’t do well when people cry. I just don’t know what to do, so I usually will just go somewhere else until they are done.

Yesterday, the family we are teaching didn’t come to church. Matt had to work and so Yana didn’t feel comfortable going. But we did have a great lesson with them Saturday night! They had a lot of questions, and we resolved a lot of their concerns. They are an awesome family, but because they didn’t come to church we will have to reset their date. The girls [other investigators] are doing well, although we will have to reset their date also because they said they got nervous and didn’t feel like they know enough yet. They say they want to but only after they learn everything. So we are going to talk with them Wednesday night and hopefully get everything in order.

In our ward I think the relife society is out to get us. I guess Elder Thueson missed a dinner because he was in a three-some in another area after his comp left for Brazil and forgot. Since then they have been getting mad at us.  They don’t sign up and then call us mad because we didn’t show up!  When we check the calendar there is nothing there! Our bishop is having a few challenges too.  The visiting teaching routes got changed and I think there might be some sort of a mutiny forming. The Bishop always tells us. "Elders, some advice.... Never, I mean NEVER, get a group of women angry. That’s how World War II started." It was pretty funny so we are dealing with that too.

The meeting with Elder Sitati was LONG! It was from 9-4 and President Pitt spoke for 15 minutes or so, and Elder Sitati spoke the rest of the time. It was hard to understand him because of his accent and he was kind of quiet. He just taught about finding answers in the scriptures, but it was crowded and hot.

I’m glad the dawgs and hawks are doing so well! It’s bitter sweet being out here, but the good news is we have a member who has taken upon himself as his own calling as college football updater. So he will randomly let us know about scores! People here are pretty excited about Virginia Tech beating Miami. I hope the hawks play Denver in the Superbowl.  That would be one heck of a game!

Other than that, there is nothing too new, except we went to a house that was like caved in on one side and figured no one lived there (up in the middle of nowhere on some hill). We knocked anyway, and a lady answered the door and invited us in. We asked if we should take our shoes off and she said, "if you would like to" and then we looked down and the entire house floor was dirt! So we kept out shoes on.  As we walked over to another room, her mother, who I assume who is in her 80s probably, was in the kitchen and guess what she was doing? She was sweeping the dirt floor! I wanted to ask so bad, “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU SWEEPING!” Anyway I thought that was funny. They are a different breed of people out here.

For Christmas, I was thinking when I get home I plan on getting my concealed weapons permit and buying myself a 9mm. So if y’all would be ok with it, you don’t need to send me anything this year to save for next Christmas where I can do the concealed class and get a 9mm or something of the sort? I mean you never know.  I’ve heard of multiple shootings lately, and they seem to happen more and more. Just imagine if someone there was armed. They could have saved lives and their own!

Anyway that all I have for the week!

Love you!

Elder Latimer

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

September Letters - Leaves are Changing!

Finally got around to posting the last several letters.  Elder Latimer may be transferred tomorrow (we don't know yet), but you can always reach him by e-mail at joshua.latimer@myldsmail.net!  Please write him, he would love to hear from you! -- eds.

September 16, 2013

Hi All!

I’m doing well here. Jay is coming along.  He is still planning on getting married so he and possibly his family can be baptized, but I don’t know if he talked to his fiancé yet. We will see though! We are still teaching Jordan and Dakota. With Dakota, because of behavioral problems, we are working a lot closer with his parents to make sure he is ready and not telling us he is ready when he isn’t. Then with Jordan we have just been fellowshipping with his mom to get on her good side. She is an awesome person, but she just doesn’t want her son to make a mistake. So we have been going to all his football games and catch rides with Ryan [his brother] and his mom to go to the away games. It’s a lot of fun.  It’s nice because Ryan is a big football buff too. We sit there and talk game strategies and have even begun kind of sideline coaching. Every once in a while the coaches come to the stand and talk to Ryan and I and ask us what we are seeing and what we think would work. It’s pretty cool. That’s something I want to kind of get into after the mission. I would love to coach a high school team! And of course a D1 team but that’s just a little harder to do!

That’s crazy the weather got that warm this time of year! It doesn’t even get there here in the summer! Over here it’s been getting a lot nicer. Fall is here. It’s been mid 70's the last week or two so it’s been nice. The leaves are beginning to change. I’m really excited for that. I’ll make sure to take pictures for you! 

Also at church yesterday we had a member’s less active son come with his non-member wife.  She is getting him back into church and really interested in the church. We taught her the restoration and after she told us how much she loved it. She felt most churches try to push everything on you, and while we were teaching she just felt really peaceful! That was a really cool experience so hopefully we can help her work to baptism!

That’s cool Jake is back at school. I bet the girls will keeping encouraging him as he prepares for his mission. From what I hear from missionaries out here is that they call BYU-I BYU- “I Do.”  They say all the girls are there for is to find a return missionary. They just go to school until they find them then that’s it, I guess. I’m not sure I would want to go there when I get back, but I don’t know. I just enjoyed Boise State too much! Plus lacrosse!

Sounds like I get my pain tolerance from you mom! You had bad asthma and felt like you had broken ribs and you had no idea! That’s crazy, glad you are feeling better!

We don’t have a “day of service” here.... At least not that I have heard of. But people see us a lot of the time as free manual labor so we get our fair share in! Like tonight we are helping unload a couple hundred bails of hay. It’ll be a good workout as well as our 3 1/2 hour workout this P-day morning!

Speaking on working out we, did chest today, and I decided to find my max. I’m at about 190-200 right now, so im getting there. I’m up to around 155 lbs in body weight or so! I’m pretty excited. I’m sure I told you, I want to get to at least 180 and get my 40 time back up from when I hurt my knee. Then maybe walk on -- even practice squad when i get back! That would be a dream come true. But that’s quite a bit of muscle to put on.  210 would be nice :) But even if that were to be possible for me, I’d need to be home to get that big, not enough time or weight on the mission.

That’s so funny about Jace! He is a witty one! The best part is he was probably serious when he said it huh? That’s awesome. I’ll have fun talking with him and Jonathan about football that would be cool. I just wish they could stick with it! I would love to kind of coach them.  That would be fun.

I’m more than excited about the Seahawks and the Dawgs!!!! Even on my mission just like back home knowing they won makes me happy. So I’m more than excited!!

That’s about it. I may have forgot something but I’ll send it next week!

Love you!

Elder Latimer

September 23, 2013

Hi Everyone

It’s definitely becoming fall here in West Virginia too! The leaves are starting to change. The majority of the trees are still green, but now I can tell some of the color differences between them. I really excited for when everything is red orange and yellow! It’s nice because it’s beginning to cool down. Highs are in the mid 70's and the nights low 50's. It’s perfect!  And I guess this summer was abnormally cool and from what people tell me there was A TON on more rain than normal. So I’m not too excited to experience a normal summer. Because of all the rain, they say it will be a pretty bad winter this year, which I’m not too worried about because I like severe weather, especially as a missionary it’s a nice change of pace!

I really hope Jace stays with football! If not, oh well. That’s funny he still does that cry. I remember I was always in between laughing at it and getting mad because it got so annoying!

That’s good Jake is doing well at school.  It’s funny he is the same place as Jamie. I would always give him a hard time about her. I don’t know why, but that’s just who it was. He is lucky he has a lot of cute girls im his ward. Both of my areas have had no cute girls. I guess that’s a blessing while I’m out here.

That’s sad about Bishop Eden's mom. I’ve met a lot of people out here and back in Boise who have had parents pass away. I’m glad I still have you guys!

It’s cool Ryan, Ben and Jeff all got jobs! And jobs they wanted! I’ve been writing Alex, and he was telling me about how he is wanting to move out of state. Not sure why, but I’m guessing to start new? At least he is looking at trade school though. Next time you see Alex and Jim tell them I said “Hi!”

This week not too much happened. We did finally get a washer and Dryer. Both came without any hook ups so we had to buy them. The washer took us an hour to set up because one of the water hoses was cracked, and so we had to return it and get a new one -- wasting those precious miles! Then the dryer needed a bigger outlet and some 220 wire, so we went and bought the outlet and after cutting the power and taking off the outlet cover, we found out that we need to run a 220 wire all the way to the fuse box. So unless we can find an electrician we will still have to dry at the Laundromat, although it does save us a lot of money.

Other than that Jay is still working on getting married and hopefully his fiancé agrees with him. Dakota is hard to get a hold of like always, but we plan to visit him this week and hopefully he is ready. Jordan is still working with his mom, so he can be baptized as well. We are also teaching less active member’s wife. She is a great person who I think will get to the waters of baptism, but I probably won’t be here just because I will probably leave this transfer which is the first week in October but you never know! 

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

September 30, 2013

Dear All:

I’m glad to hear about the Huskies and Hawks! Sounds like they are both looking really good! That's crazy the Seahawks played so badly, but I’m sure that game was fun to watch with the comeback.  Of course, it was Richard Sherman who had the pick-6! I think he is one of my new favorite players.  He is so mouthy it’s ridiculous. He has gotten into arguments with guys like Darrel Revis (Revis Island) about how much better he is. I don't know what it is, but he is so cocky it’s fun to watch him do well and shut up the people who don't like it!

Good thing the Huskies play Oregon at home. I’m sure we will need that home field advantage to help us out. I really hope they beat Stanford. That would be huge!

The area is doing well. Our main problem is getting parents to be ok with our investigators being baptized, and to get Jay to get married. It’s frustrating working with these people for so long and not seeing a lot of progression. But we do have a few that are doing well, like the less-active member’s wife. So this past week or two we have been working with all of them as opposed to finding because we are trying to get them ready and push them while I am here, before they get another brand new missionary in the area who they might be a little more hesitant about. Transfers are next week. I’m really hoping I’m going to leave. The area is good, but there just isn't much work to do.  It is a tough area, and I’ve been here long enough!

The last P-day we had a huge touch football game together with Ryan [and investigator] and his friends. We probably had close to 20 people, and the best part was it was competitive. It was a lot of fun being able to play again! I don't know if it’s been my [weight] lifting but I feel faster, like a lot faster, which is nice knowing my knee isn't bothering me. It was nice to play football at around 150-155 lbs, as opposed to high school when I was like 115-120. There’s a big difference.

The electrical [home improvement] stuff I’ve learned out here.  I’ve learned quite a bit about that kind of fix it stuff because everyone here is pretty self-reliant and fix all their own stuff.  It’s probably because most can’t afford to have it done professionally so they learn to do it themselves. As they do it they like to explain how they do it and all that good stuff, so I feel like I’m getting some good skills out here!

We aren’t sure about where we’ll go for general conference. Maybe a member’s house would be the best so we don't waste over 400 miles going to Clarksburg twice -- even though the closest member is like 20 miles away. We will see what happens.  I’m excited for it especially after being in this tiny branch forever. I get to hear people who are exciting speakers and know what they are talking about speak. Yesterday someone gave a 45 minute talk on translated beings.... and I’m pretty sure the majority of it was false, but I’m not sure as I haven't ever really studied it.  One Sunday we gave a Sunday school lesson to the branch on the Word of Wisdom, and they got off on the tangent of eating in moderation. Someone asked whether we were supposed to give fat people temple recommends because it is obvious they don’t eat in moderation? We didn't want to make that call.   The next week we had someone from stake leadership join us and he was asked about it and said he wasn’t really sure either.  Strange.

I’ll be sure to send my photo card.  I have a few pictures with people we are teaching and things, but I will have to get more. I will send it out soon. Not too many pictures of the leaves yet. They are starting to change and it’s really cool!  But they aren’t even close to where they will be so I’ll have more coming later!

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

October 8, 2013

Dear Everyone:

This week has been a lot of me training Elder Shaffer on the area. I haven’t been officially notified that I’m being transferred, but we do know one, or maybe both of us are leaving. We find out who and where tonight.  So I am still in Pennsboro and our P-day is Wednesday this week, but we are sending e-mails on Tuesday because the library isn’t open tomorrow for some reason.

We are still working with the same people mainly. The biggest problem is that Jordan and Dakota both want to be baptized but their parents are holding them back. Other than that the week has been full of me helping Elder Shaffer get to know the area better because I’m guessing I’m leaving after being here for so long but you never know!

Sadly, not much else is going on, just trying to do our best to help the investigators we have progress.

I haven’t seen conference yet. We didn’t have it streamed out here, and no members were able to have us over to watch it. So we plan this week to be at the library and watch all the sessions throughout the week. I’m really excited to listen to what was said.

As I mentioned, we have been working out.  We wake up at 5 a.m., so we have plenty of time to work out and still get all our study and prep time in. That’s too bad about the Huskies and Seahawks. It’s even more frustrating that it was so close and knowing that we had a chance to win. But it is good to know that we can play close with teams that are that good! Hopefully the Dawgs can beat Oregon because they play them at home. How great would that be?!

I am doing well and enjoying the mission. The leaves are still changing and will continue to until around the end of October. I’ll make sure to keep taking pictures!

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer