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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Elder Oak's Visit; Blessings Come

Editor’s Note:  I got a little lazy and didn’t post last week’s letter. So you get a bonus, dear reader, of two letters from Elder Latimer this week!

Also, Josh can now receive and respond to e-mail correspondence from friends.  If you want to write him, please e-mail him at joshua.latimer@myldsmail.net  He would love to hear from you!

March 18, 2013

Hi [All]!

I will send my other [photo] card home soon and make sure to package it well! That’s crazy about nana, I’ll make sure to pray for her [Josh’s grandma had some health issues that are getting better]. What is their address so I can send a letter?

I wish I could come to Mexico, but I guess I have better things to do...

I am writing Chris [Taulbee – who is also on a mission].  I get an e-mail about every other week or so. Seems like he is having an awesome time! I can’t wait for it to be nice and sunny here, but I’m also dreading it because I guess it’s usually in the 90's with 100% or more humidity. So that sounds miserable but we will see! 

I haven’t sent my shirts back. I need to do that before it gets hot. Today they say there is probably a good chance or tornadoes in our area, so hopefully if we get them they will be close, but not too close!  It’s weird here because Saturday was 70 degrees or so, and Sunday it snowed the whole day!  Now today we have lighting storms and possible tornadoes. It just can’t decide. When it rains here, it is a lot of rain. One thing I have noticed is places like this don’t have a very good drainage system compared to back home!  There are mini lakes over roads everywhere!

My new companion is Elder Parker.  He is from Layton, Utah and really tall. He has been out about 20 months so he is about done. It’s always fun giving him a hard time about going home soon.  I try to get him as home sick as possible. (I guess missionaries call it "Trunky" but I hate that word so I don’t use it) He is cool, I guess, but he is really quiet, and we don’t really have anything in common, but we are both pretty relaxed guys so it will work out I’m sure. It just won’t be as exciting as when Elder Hudson and I served together. It helped that one of the Russell missionaries was way cool too, but they both left.

That reminds me, a lot of missionaries here say doing certain things are "Apostate." That’s my least favorite thing they say. I don’t think they know what it means. One missionary told me he was “apostate” because he visited espn.com. And another told me that going to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings was "Apostate" because the music and T.V's. in the restaurant. I call them out every time because I believe being apostate is "forsaking your religion, or God" or along those lines. I don’t think going out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings is forsaking our religion and everything we believe.... Anyway, missionaries use a lot of stupid sayings that just make me mad. One of which is if a missionary is training, he calls his trainee is his "son" and their previous companion is "mom" and there are uncles, grandpas etc... which is just stupid, I think.  Also,if a missionary is going home he is dying or if he went home, he died. I think that’s stupid too. Anyway that’s my rant.

We are still teaching the same people and trying to get them to stop smoking/chewing and those things. Nothing too exciting to report about that.

But we did see Elders Oaks, Holstrom, Lancing, and Bishop Cossay? (Not sure how to spell it. He is french so it probably has a lot of unnecessary letters in it.)  It was awesome.  We got to shake all of their hands. I honestly can’t remember everything they talked about, but I did take notes.  I do remember that was the fastest 3 hours ever. Anyway, it was a cool experience.

I am also really enjoying the weights i have been using them every morning and night. It’s just something to kind of help keep my mind off things for a little bit so I can relax, but after 2 weeks I can tell I’m still slowly getting bigger, which is fun to see.

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

March 25, 2013

Elder Parker is a cool guy.  He is a little more reserved than I would like but that’s ok, I can deal with it. We do have 2 new investigators. We finally met with Mark and his daughter, and they are both on date to be baptized in May! Hopefully he will decide to move it up so I will be here for sure. I may stay another transfer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I left. I would like to stay, but we will see.

Our investigator, Leah, is making progress on her own. We were over talking to her, and she expressed her desires to start going to church and surrounding herself with good people. This is mainly because she has had a tough life.  She is 27 and has 4 kids.  One sister just got out of jail and she and her three kids are now living with her and the sister has started using dope again. Her other sister is in jail for another 8 years and their boyfriends and stuff are always around. She has just about quit smoking and wants us to teach her more about prophets and apostles. So she is moving a long quickly.

And did Jake like Mein Kampf? I've always wanted to read it. Too bad I can’t on my mission. Oh well.

Everyone here is talking about March madness! I can’t believe the teams that are in the sweet 16! I would love to watch them play. One of my favorite things is watching guys on teams like that who do well and who put their life on hold almost to play ball and then have it pay off. They look like they are 8 again. It’s pretty cool seeing how happy they get for winning a game!

I did get the picture of the quilt. I’ll probably do that [with my ties]!  For my package there isn’t anything that I really need -- just food and things like that.

Pres. Pitt told us we can now e-mail friends back home! So if you could post my e-mail on my twitter and facebook accounts that would be awesome!  It makees everything a lot faster and cheaper!

One cool thing I learned, but I guess I already knew, was that we were having a terrible week the last week or two. I thought to myself, “the Lord will give us trials, and if we keep our faith and continue to work hard good things will come.” So I saw we were having a bad 2 weeks and kept thinking, “if we just continue to work and do all that we can do we will be blessed for our efforts.” Just this past weekend, we were able to meet with Mark and set him and his daughter on [a baptismal] date.  We also found out a new family in the ward has a daughter who has not been baptized yet (she is 17), and Leah is working forward fast!  Also we gave a former investigator a call and his mom was on her death bed but after she passes he wants us to come a teach him. He sounded really sincere. Also, Mark has a friend with a less active family we have been working with since I got here, and who have not been coming to church. But mark invited them to church with him this week! So we should have at least 3 investigators at church along with 2 less active families who are coming! Since we worked as hard as we could those 2 weeks we have received a ton of blessings! 

I will have to send you my notes from Elder Oaks because I honestly don’t remember what he said for sure, unless I read my own notes. So I can make a copy and send it to you.

I wasn’t sure who to send my shirts too, so i sent them back to home along with my picture card and Jonathan’s present. They said it should be there Thursday. So I hope it doesn’t get too warm for the next couple weeks until I get those back the right size. I forgot to check what size I need. I believe 2 sizes smaller, or 1 and a half.

That’s about all i have to tell you now, I guess.

Love you guys!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Staying Ashland with New Companion and a Baptism!

Hello Everyone:

I’m staying in Ashland for at least one more transfer, we will see if I stay for a while. I found out I’m now serving with Elder Parker. All I know about him is that he is tall. Anyway I’m excited to stay here because there are a lot of cool families we visit, and it’s nice to continue to get to know them. Also it’s nice to be in the same ward with other missionaries, so on p-day and throughout the week we can hang out. It’s slowly starting to be spring here. It was 76 degrees just a few days ago! But it actually snowed today. It is supposed to be in the 60's the rest the week, which feels about 70 or so here. I haven't sent those shirts [short-sleeved] back yet as I haven’t had time, but I will in the next few days, along with Jonathan’s [birthday] present.

I got my weights and have been working out like I had been back home -- every day for an hour. I have also been using my protein shake and creatine, so hopefully I start to see results soon! It’s been kind of tough though because that first week is always brutal.  Every set of muscles is sore for the next few days.

I haven’t got the bishops package yet, but I’ll keep waiting on it.

That sucks that nana got shingles, we had a kid on out lacrosse team that had them, and it doesn’t look fun at all! [Note:  Elder Latimer’s grandma had a case of shingles when she was traveling in South America as a water specialist for the Church – eds.]

And it’s cool Ryan [cousin] is going to Loyola [law school]. They have a great D-1 lacrosse team there! They won the national championship in 2010, I believe. You have to tell him to go watch one sometime!

Bill and family are doing well. He is moving slow but still progressing.  It will take a while with him, but he enjoys having us come talk to him. He told us a story about how his old preacher from his previous church visited him and apologized that they hadn’t seen him or checked on him. He told him "well, 2 Mormon boys visit me every week."  The preacher then said, “Well, we will have to see you some more.” Bill also told him about another member of their church that had been struggling for food and the pastor hadn’t done anything about it, and then told him that the same 2 Mormon boys had brought some for him. The pastor then said, "Oh, well I’ll be right on that!" It’s fun to one up guys who get paid to do these things.

The baptism went well. I’ll have to send you pictures because we did the baptism in Olive Hill, KY, which is tiny! Their chapel is like our home ward relief society room, and that’s really it. That branch only has 20 members in it, so it’s good for them to get another, and the Olive Hill missionaries got 2 new investigators out of it!

Also, I've heard North Korea is going crazy again and scrapped their treaty with South Korea and vowed to nuke us? Well that’s exciting. We might have another Hiroshima and Nagasaki on our hands? Even China is fed up with them too? Crazy.

We found out we can’t play basketball up with the ZL's anymore because they had an investigator dunk and shatter the back board. Just like Shaq. The stake presidency is really mad, especially because an apostle is coming this week. [Elder Oaks is visiting the mission on the 16th – eds.]

President Pitt sent us an e-mail and told us out mission is not being split and no missionaries are leaving, so thats good to know!

A member told me the Seahawks got Percy Harvin from the Vikings? I hope so! They also said they predict the 49ers or the Seahawks to win the Superbowl. So those games this season should be crazy. I’m kind of mad I have to miss them. Oh well!

Love you guys, 

Elder Latimer

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another Baptism Coming Up!

Due to the editors’ busy schedule, we neglected to post last week’s letter.  That results in a bonus to you, dear readers, of two letters from Elder Latimer this week!
Note:  Josh had asked us to send some dumbbells for him to exercise with and we wondered if we should, which is why he responded the way he did at the beginning of this letter – eds.

February 25, 2013

Hi [All]!

About the weights, Pres. Pitt encourages us to have a set in the apartment, and my bags roll so I can do it [move them around the mission]. That way they won’t take up too much room, and I can squat enough to lift that bags into the car easy anyways.  The good news is that I visited a doctor in the ward about my [possible] hernia. He checked and says I probably don’t have one, but to keep in touch with him about if the pain keeps up.  He says I am good to lift things, but to stop if I feel any pain. 

Last week we helped 2 people move and helped haul a tree that was cut up with a chain saw over to a member’s house then split them so that’s good that I am getting a work out those ways too!  Oh, before I forget, there is a non-member family that feeds us all the time. There was some painting she wanted me to ask you guys to look for.  Please keep an eye out for a painting made with crushed buttons.  She has to remind me what it is of but I can tell you that later, because her grandma painted/made it and it was taken by one of their preachers and they haven’t seen it since. [Note sure why Josh thought we would see the painting in Seattle, but we’ll do our best! – eds.]

I’m jealous that Jonathan is starting to play lacrosse at a young age.  I wish I would have!  My friend sent me a letter from Boise telling me about a special on TV about our [Boise State] lacrosse team. I don’t remember specifics, but it was a boy with a bucket list, and his dad was dying from some kind of cancer. I think and could barely walk.  The one thing he wanted to do was play college lacrosse for his dad, so he came and practiced with the team! 

Anyway, that’s cool Jake is getting his papers in! That would be cool to learn a language, I just know I never could, and wouldn’t ever have the urge to do it. I think he will go somewhere in Asia.

Tell Bishop Eden, I'll try to slow down on baptisms, but i can’t promise anything! [Our home ward Bishop jokingly said that he was frustrated that Josh has will have two baptisms and our ward hasn’t had any in a little while.  We relayed that fun message to Josh. – eds.]

Today we are going to Hunnington, West Virginia to play basketball with the Zone leaders and some other missionaries. It’s one of the only full-sized courts in the mission. I’m excited to play a full court game that’s actually competitive!  

I’m not sure if I told you about Bill recently he is making some progress. He has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot finally, and he tells us he "Loves It!"  He is confused on why people bash on the Mormons. He said, “you guys believe everything Christians do.”  It also blew his mind when we told him we used the King James version of the Bible too. So hopefully we can help him stop smoking next, and his family seemed interested too!

It kills me coming here right after I bought my rifle because there are deer everywhere! There is a group of 4 of them that just walk our around our apartment. It’s fun talking to people about guns because they go into rants about how Obama is terrible and is the “anti-Christ” and how the South will rebel again. Anyways they go crazy about it, and it’s always fun to listen.

My Canadian companion is a great guy, but all he does is talk about how Canada is better than the U.S. I’m not the type of person who will call people out and argue, so I just keep to myself the best I can. But the other day he brought up with an investigator his favorite thing to brag about –  universal health care –  and it made me so happy that that investigator completely went off on him, and blew holes in all his arguments. My favorite was when he said, "How is your health care system so great when you have lines for surgeries and MRI's, Transplants  etc... out the door and have so many people die because of it!" You should have seen the look on his face. Then he likes to talk about how Canada has a higher than the United States, and how Canada's economy and political system is so much better than the United States. Then the investigator told him, "Where would Canada be if the United States didn’t have their backs? What would happen if the U.S said, “hey, we don’t care anymore, whoever wants Canada go for it, we aren’t stopping you." I enjoyed that point. AnywaysI have started to dislike Canada more and more as this goes on. Anyway, I enjoy having him put in his place.... Don’t get me wrong I love the guy! Just not Canada....

Love you guys,

Elder Latimer

March 4, 2013

Dear [All]:

That’s cool Jake’s [mission] papers are in! I wonder where he will go?  Wouldn't it be crazy if he came here, and we served together?  That would be a cool story!  And that’s good that Jonathan is enjoying lacrosse.  I sure know I miss it! I have a good idea of what I can send to Jonathan [for his birthday]!  They have a sweet flea market here with some [deleted to preserve the surprise – eds.].   So I might buy one and ship it.  It may be a little bit late though because it’s only open on Thursday-Sunday.  When is Joe's birthday again? I know he would love a [deleted].  They are pretty cheap which is nice.  It might cost more to ship than to buy it! I did get myself a pretty cool switchblade the other day though.  You never know what might happen with theses crazy Hillbillies!

Yes, we have still have the baptism on the 9th, and it seems like he [Jake] is really excited! We had to really teach simple because he didn’t even know what the Atonement was, but so far he believes everything and is taking it well and keeping commitments.  With Bill and his family the biggest thing we will have to work with him on is quitting smoking and coming to church. Other than that we are still visiting with the McClanahan family, who are non-members, but love to feed is and have us over. They aren’t really progressing, but we enjoy visiting with them, and they love when we come visit them --so it’s still beneficial.

Last night we went to a member’s house to watch 17 miracles and the CES Devotional. Both were awesome! I kind of thought Elder Bednar’s talk was kind of a slam on the Pope.  I thought that was pretty funny.

And I’ll be sure to send those shirts back as soon as I can [some shirts we sent that were too big – eds.], and can’t wait for my weights! We hardly have enough time to work out as it is, and push-ups and sit-ups won’t do, especially since we have a car.  We sit for an hour, walk to the car, drive to another appointment, walk inside, and sit for another hour. So we get no exercise.  I hope my next area is a bike area.

Transfers are on the 14th, and it’s a toss-up on whether I will stay in Ashland or leave. I hope I stay because I’m just getting to know the people, and it’s nice having another set of missionaries in the same ward that we can hang out with every once in a while.

After transfers on the 16th, we have a meeting where they are getting the whole mission together, which never happens.  We are having a conference with Elder Oaks, Elder Holstrom from the Seventy and a member of the presiding bishopric. We are pretty sure they are going to be splitting our mission because it’s so big, and then re-open the Cincinnati mission.  The new Cincinnati mission will cover where I am at now, but that change won’t happen until July.  I hope I don’t get moved into the Cincinnati mission because they will almost be like being back home – up north in a big city. It would be nice to stay in the West Virginia area!

By the way, my stomach isn’t in pain anymore, I don’t know what must have happened but good thing I don’t need to go get surgery!

Sadly, today's P-day is going to suck because my companion really wants to visit an area near us where he served and visit people all day! So instead of playing basketball, I get to dress up in church clothes and sit around all day. I'll be complaining the whole time just so he knows how much of a waste today will be. J

Anyway, love you guys!

Elder Latimer