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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Progress in the Work,"Y'all"

Dear Everyone,

I'm doing well, and we are making a lot more progress with our investigator, Bill.  I can never remember what I told y'all in the last email, but we met Bill, and he has been just talking with his about what he believes and what we believe. We told him a little about Joseph Smith and the movie "Prophet of the Restoration." He said he loved religious history and would like to watch it.  Anyway, we watched it with him, and he was glued to the screen. After we spent 2 hours talking and answering his questions, we invited him to be baptized.  His answer was perfect. He said, "I'm not sure, but I will read the Book of Mormon, and I can't wait to pray to know if it is true or not."  It is awesome because he is not just getting baptized because he likes the idea. He wants to get that knowledge and know for himself. People like that are those who stay in the church, as opposed to those who just join because they like the people or the idea.

Anyway, feed the sister missionaries for me!  Because I know I get enough meals from members, but I would  like more. Meals are one of missionaries favorite things.  I'm sure dad can attest to that.  By the way, I know of of the Elders I was close to in the MTC  is in Bellingham right now. I don't know where the others are.

I wasn't too sad I missed the Pro Bowl. I never watch it anyway.  It's not fun to watch because it's not competitive.  We had an investigator inviting us to watch the Superbowl at their place next Sunday.  We said we might be able to, but only if we can teach people there a lesson after . . . . so we can use it as a finding/teaching opportunity.

It's funny here that people call these mountains. The hills in downtown Seattle are just about what these are....  There is just a lot of them so you are constantly going up or down a hill. Oh, and by the way, don't tell some one from West Virginia that they are from "western Virginia," because they get pretty offended. It's kinda funny actually.

And I haven't got her letter yet [a friend who wrote -- eds.]! I've been waiting. I hope it didn't get lost, maybe she put the wrong address? Tell her to send another if I don't get one this week because I just thought she was busy with school and didn't find time to write one yet. Anyway I have never seen one of Anthony's [hockey] games, I would like too. Hopefully when I get home he will be on a college team. Plus he promised that I get to live in his mansion when he goes to the NHL.

And  will go pick up my prescription [for migraines] today. I've been taking the migralife or whatever everyday but always wake up with a little headache everyday. I have had a couple migraines -- one so bad I about puked... but i think its the air here. I've heard it has the most polluted air in the country. That and because I can never fall asleep until midnight then have to wake up at 630 so that may contribute to it. My knee is doing well.  I've started to play a little without my brace and it is pretty strong (don't worry I use it if we start to get competitive). That's the last thing I want is to get sent home and to have a doc say I cant play lax again.

I would love for you guys to send me ties! [Josh is collecting thrift shop ties - eds.] The more the better, I have about 15 already from the thrift store. I do need my short sleeve white shirts because its getting somewhat warmer, and the humidity helps. So when its 50 its perfect T-shirt weather.


Elder Latimer

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Potato/Potatoe (or retired vs retard)

Dear [All]:

We did have a baptism [of the investigator mentioned in previous letters]. It went really well, and I gave the talk on baptism. About an hour before the baptism, the font was freezing!  The hot water ran out or something, so we and the missionaries we share the area with ran back and forth from the kitchen filling pots with hot water and dumping it into the font. It finally got warm enough and we continued with the baptism. 

Like I told you, Alexis got kicked out of her house for being baptized.  We warned her hardships will come because Satan wants to keep us from the truth, so she kept that in mind and stayed strong. We gave her a blessing and told her if she could stay faithful until she was baptized, things would work out. After her baptism, a member in the ward offered to take her in, and is letting her live there for free -- not paying for food/rent/or gas -- so that she can save her money and to move to Utah to go to college at Dixie state, I think it is. That was pretty awesome. Then, on Sunday, as we confirmed her and gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost, the bishop's son was doing the confirmation.  In the middle of it the bishop says into the mic, "Did you give her the Holy Ghost!?" into and then Lincoln, his son, says" Yes, DAD!" It was hilarious.

I heard about the Superbowl. I'm rooting for the Ravens now because I want Ray Lewis to get a ring before he retires this season. And I can say I'm bitter too with the Niners going, because we should have beat the Falcons. I don't know how we didn't. We could have beaten the niners and could have beat the ravens, but oh well. I got news from a member that the Kings are coming to Seattle! I'm more than excited. What's sweet is OKC is in the West division still, and so will the new Sonics. So i think that will become an insane rivalry game. I really want to see their first game at home vs OKC, being there would be even better, but I guess I have better things to do. :)

We now have a couple new investigators like Seth J.  I don't remember if I told you about him, but he is trying to quit smoking.  He recently sent us a text saying that he had been praying, and now when he smokes he gets sick to his stomach. He says he knows the BOM is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet, so we will probably be able to set him on date soon. I'll hopefully be averaging a baptism a month... granted I'm only 2 months in, but that would still be fun to tell people....

And another funny thing is, when talking to people here they obviously say things different. One embarrassing experience was I didn't know that people here pronounce "retired" like "retard." So one day I asked one guy what he does for work, and he says to me, "Oh I've been retard (retired) for about 5 years." And so I said "Oh, that's too bad" to which he said, "No, its great, I get all sorts of discounts and free help." Meanwhile my companion knows he meant retired but i didn't so he could not stop laughing, and I was so confused. He told me after, and I felt terrible.

Love you guys!
Elder Latimer  

Monday, January 14, 2013

First Pictures from the MTC and Mission Field!

[Combining two letters this week . . . plus pictures from the MTC and Mission Field! -- eds.] 
Josh's new companions!
Missionary Training Center District at the Provo Temple

Missionary Training Center Zone at Provo Temple

Where in the world?

MTC Companions

Classic Mission Photo Op!

Break in Studying!

With President and Sister Pitt, Mission President

Letter #1 - January 7, 2013. 

Dear [All]:

Let's see . . . I'm more than stoked to hear about the Seahawks win [versus Redskins]!  Is their next game on Sunday?  It is sad to hear how RG3 went out. I like him, unlike other QB's like him (Cam Newton, Donovan McNabb, and a few other rookies.) If you could send me more than just scores that would be awesome. For instance, I saw while eating out that Ray Lewis is retiring. He is my favorite defensive player ever! Sad to hear, but things like that: trades, coaching changes, injuries, projections are things I want updates on. Pretty much summarize Sportscenter with the info I want.

Alexis S. is our investigator's name with the baptismal date.  She is way awesome, and I think she will be great in a ward calling.  She loves church and all the members always ask us about her. She also told us she was thinking about a mission.  Other than that we are teaching a few others who are just curious as of now and a part-member family and a non-member 13 year-old boy. The family is going well because the mom is coming to church again now, and we are helping her work towards going to the temple.  Darren (The 13 year-old boy) isn't against coming to church yet, but I think he is just more lazy than anything,

The hardest part about being out is [missing football.... Especially now with how well the Hawks are playing, I sometimes think I just want to go watch the game somewhere... but I don't. :)

A bad flu is going around here too, none of the missionaries have got it yet, luckily, and hopefully we don't. 

It's crazy how different houses are here. You will be driving past theses little shacks for houses, then in an instant you see a huge mansion. I think its because there is a hospital here, and, apparently, it is one of the best heart hospitals in the country.  It's called King's Daughters, so I assume in a place like this houses go for way cheaper, so the docs can afford them.  Then I go into other houses of members and people who want to learn. and its terrible.  There is stuff everywhere, you sit on the couch and cockroaches climb out, along with stinkbugs and other things. The beds they have a just covered in dirt and bugs. It's nasty. But last night we ate at a member's house who works for  Merrill Lynch, I think it is. I don't know exactly what he does, but his house is absolutely massive. I dont think I've been a house that big.

And I did get my protein drink. Thank you!! And I cant wait for my [lacrosse] stick to get here too, that will be nice.

Love you guys,

Elder Latimer 

Letter #2 -- January 14, 2013

Dear All:

Well, I almost had my email done and by accident I hit something and deleted it all. So this will be shorter because im running out of time, but I'll still be able to get everything in.

First off about the Seahawks, and investigator invited us over for luch and refused to turn off the TV, and we couldn't force them. so I got to watch the end of the game. Oh well, it's a good thing I guess because now I can focus. And I have heard a lot about the Kings coming to Seattle.  I hope it happens because Isaiah Thomas is on that team now too.

And yes i got my package! Thank you!  However, the first day there was a 40 oz. glass bottle of vinegar apple cider that had been there at least a month or longer, and never refrigerated.  While we were playing with my lacrosse stick we knocked it off and broke it, and now our apartment smells terrible! Not to mention that we broke 2 cologne bottles too.  So we sleep on the porch now, until we can bleach the floors.

This week I went on an exchange to Portsmouth, Ohio.  If you didnt know it is the #1 place for pain medication abuse in the U.S.  You should look it up.  To make a long story short, we went to a recent convert's house, and when we walked in there were 2 other people there who were drunk and high on drugs.  The guy started to talk to me and show me tattoos of biker gangs he has been in. He then told me how much he respected me because I knew where he was coming from (for some reason?). So I guess I got his trust, which was good because he was a scary guy. He ended up telling me how he has killed people before, and how he did it, and that people there don't care who you are or what you stand for they will take you and kill you. So he told me if I ever get in a bind to mention his name and give him a call, and he would come down and help us... it was crazy.  Then the lady he was with just broke down out of nowhere and started to tell us about how someone close to her was murdered recently.  She told us how she wished they would have just shot him because from what she told us, they tied him down, ripped out all his teeth, finger and toe nails, then cut him and left him.... At that point we didn't even say "we gotta go," we just left. And that was it for the night for us. [these kind of stories are so nice for parents to read -- eds.]

And Alexis [our investigator with the baptismal date] is doing great. She came with us to the CES broadcast last night and loved it. And then we sent her home with some baptismal clothes to see which fit the best. We have another investigator who's name is Seth J. He says he knows The Church is true and everything, but he just cant quit smoking.  He says when he quits he will be baptized, so we are working with him on that.

Other than that everything is going good. Keeping busy. If you could send me some short-sleeved white shirts that would be great. It's not super warm yet but with the 100% humidity, it sure feels that way. it was actually 70 degrees the other day, but starting to cool down again. 

Love you,

Elder Latimer

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More News from Christmas

Ed. Note:  This is the latest letter from Elder Latimer.  He extended an invitation recently to a new investigator to be baptized and she accepted!  This is the person he is referring to in the e-mail.  We have also blended a few comments to his little brothers into this letter.

Hi [Everyone]:

Yes, the baptismal date is awesome, and it’s great.  She is like the perfect investigator. She told us that she had been baptized [in other churches] twice but knew it wasn’t right because they were only in Jesus' name, and she knew she needed to be baptized by the proper authority into God's true church.  She accepts everything we teach her and is smiling the whole time! And when we ask her to pray she gives thanks for true prophets on the earth and for the atonement, and even prays about the plan of salvation, which is awesome because I’m sure its hard for people to understand.

It was pretty cool that when we met with her on Saturday we brought a member along and when they met they went crazy because they lived next to each other growing up and were both musicians now. So it’s good to know she has a friend in the ward already. We got her to church yesterday and she loved it! She talked  to everyone she came in contact with and made a bunch of new friends.  She absolutely loves the gospel -- you can just see it. So we are stoked in knowing she isn’t converting to us, but to Christ.  A lot of times people will convert to the missionaries and leave the church after the missionaries leave.

And thanks for sending my [lacrosse] stick!  One thing I forgot to ask you for was my Muscle Milk protein powder. It’s good because I need it for the Insanity workout my companion and I are doing, and it’s a good meal substitute.  Other things that would be good in a package are food (but not as much sweets) and TIES!  I’ve gone to goodwill and picked up a bunch of new ties, but only the weird, corny ones cause those are the ones that are fun to have. I’ll have to send some home because I can't wear them on the mission. My MTC teacher came back from his mission with over 200 ties, and that’s my goal.

I can’t believe the Seahawks picked it up! One of our investigators who is very friendly knows I’m a big football fan from Seattle so he tells me all about it.  He also said, "I know y'all can't watch T.V. So I might have to invite y'all over for a dinner that just might be at the same time as the Super Bowl. God works in mysterious ways right?"  So pretty much he might invite us over if Seattle plays and refuse to turn the T.V off. :)  Oh and one more thing about T.V's in restaurants and houses/ music in stores and things like that. We call those “tender mercies.” :)

Also since my companion is Canadian, he has a flag up in the room. So saturday I bought an American flag to rival his. So that’s always fun.  I've decided I’ll have all my companions sign it and keep it when I go home. Maybe give to my kids when they go on missions and add to it? That would be pretty cool.

To Jonathan:  Dont worry about being smaller when playing [lacrosse] in the 5-6 grade level. I was always like the smallest guy when I played - just be faster. When they try and hit you just juke, most the time they will fly right by you! I have heard and done a few weird things I guess. I had squirrel for the first time yesterday and its really good. And the worst place to go is down in the hollers (houses right down on a river bed.)  Because they are really spread out and they aren’t nice. West Virginia and Kentucky have a big problem with drugs, especially pills and meth labs.  So when we do go down we have to be very careful and leave when told so, or it might end bad.  Also they call sledding “sleigh riding” here, and a lot of them like using car hoods...or they go scouching where they put skis on a couch and go down a hill. Also people I have to sit next to in the library to e mail are really weird/creepy...like right now.

To Jace: Hi Jace! you are lucky that they are calling you the Glove [in basketball – ed.]! Gary Payton is probably one of my favorite Sonics players right behind Ray Allen and "The Reign Man" Shawn Kemp. I’m not in West Virginia right now, but I’m in Kentucky!  It’s about 5 minutes from Ohio and West Virginia. And it’s kind of cold -- in the high 30's. It has snowed a couple of times, but didn’t stay long. This morning we woke up to an inch but its almost melted now. For Christmas me and my companion Elder Hudson had about 5 Dinners. We went to where people fed us. It was great.

And being a missionary is great! It feels good to share and help people every day.

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer