Here are the latest two letters from Elder Latimer! He sounds great! Pics to come soon.
May 20, 2013
I am starting to feel better -- still a stuffy nose and things but what can you do? I’m excited for those shirts to get here! I have really only been wearing the one because the other shirts just make me angry. They are huge and always are coming untucked. I’m sure you can imagine how that one shirt looks wearing it so often in very humid 80 degree weather. At night I will wash it in the shower and hang it by our suction fan to dry at night. I'll be sure to ship the other shirts home when they get here.
It sounds like Jace is doing well! I think it’s hilarious the things he can come up with. I feel accomplished and afraid he will be able to insult me even more when I get back. That’s good the [lacrosse] net is getting some use in! I’m excited to see Jonathan play when I get back! I’m sure he is going to be a lot better than I’ll ever be!
Dad, speaking of you and work -- would you be able to possibly ship me some fish oil pills? I would buy some but they are pretty pricey, and I think you told me once you can get them for free?
We have started teaching 2 more people. One guys name is D___ [name withheld]. He lives in a trailer full of flies, and you can see the insulation in the roof. He is in his 40s and has no teeth from chewing tobacco. He is not the brightest crayon in the box. We spent an hour trying to explain to him that the Book of Mormon is not the bible. After the lesson he asked again, "So why isn’t Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in here?" He will be interesting to teach for sure. The other guy we are teaching told us we have to come on Monday nights when his wife isn’t home, because he is afraid she will throw the Book of Mormon in the fire. So he hides it in his work truck!
Another guy we got to fast and pray about the Book of Mormon came up with an excuse I have never heard before. We came back to check up on him and see what he found out. He brought out the Book of Mormon and turned to Moroni 9:7, and he read it to us. He told us he read Amoron, as "A Moron" and that was his answer – so we got dropped by him.
I have a question for you guys. We have noticed the Free Masons have a huge influence here, and have learned that if there is an eagle above an opening on the house it means they are masons. Most houses here have it, along with a ton of "Masonic cemetaries," and masonic lodges in every little town. We would look it up, but we can’t and wonder if you know anything about them? We do know Joseph Smith was a Mason. I think the highest you can be, but we are not for sure.
Zone Conference went well. We focused on only the Book of Mormon and its importance, and we did not get more miles [for our car], so we are going to have to do a lot of walking. At least I’ll stay in shape. Elder Brandt and I have now decided if you need to lose weight, you serve in Pennsboro, We call it the Pennsboro diet -- where you get fed once a week and have $150 for food for the month. So you have to buy a lot of cheap healthy food to get by. There is no way you can gain weight here! We were talking with someone yesterday who lives on government welfare and in a falling apart trailer. We told him we have $150 a month for food. Even he said, "Wow, that’s terrible! How do you manage that?" But at least I have some of the protein powder left. It’s a great meal replacement! I am almost out of it. Do you think you can send me some more of it? Maybe strawberry flavor if it’s possible? Thanks!
Lately, we have had Pres. Pitt and his wife call us a couple times to just continue encouraging us because they know how hard it is here. This area has been shut down multiple times because of the lack of people to teach. Pres. Pitt really just told us, "Work hard, the Lord knows your desires and won’t withhold blessings because you don’t have big numbers." So that helped us realize that it’s not that we are bad missionaries, it’s just the area is pretty hard to teach in. There are no service opportunities here. We have been looking forever! And the only way we can find is to tract [knock on doors]. We have knocked on 90% of the doors here in Harrisville and only have 2 people here we are teaching. We did just set one on date yesterday for the first Saturday in July! So that is good!
Anyway, I’m doing well and having a good time. I’m staying in good shape since all I eat is eggs, ground beef, chicken breasts, broccoli, and protein shakes!
Love you guys!
P.S. I thought I would share with you my new favorite talk ever, Its by Elder Holland in 2009 Conference, called "Safety for the Soul" http://bcove.me/wy27ezhf
May 28, 2013
Sorry, I got to the email so late, the library was closed yesterday!
I did get my shirts protein and sweat shirts! OH MY GOSH, THANK YOU! I definitely did not expect all of that. It was amazing to see! I think Elder Brandt was just as excited to see it! The shirts do fit. They fit just how I wanted them to -- not big but not too small. It seems they are tailor made almost. They are definitely an interesting look with no shirt pocket and a flap that covers the buttons, it looks like a white t-shirt with a collar. I love it though!
We have a Mother of a less active set on date for July 6th. It may be hard to get her ready. She is very stubborn, and loves her coffee and cigarettes. She probably drinks at least 10 cups of coffee a day. But we will work with her. We have also set another woman on date -- a single mom with 3 kids. She is set for June 6th. We meant to also set her for July but on accident said June. So we will need to change that date for her. With her she seems very sincere and, again, like everyone else in this mission, she has a smoking problem, but we can work through that.
That’s a funny story about nana! I could see it all in my head! I think nana and Joe are pretty similar sometimes! I didn’t hear about the I-5 bridge collapse! That’s crazy -- even more crazy no one died. I’m sure for those people that will be a crazy story to tell people! At least it wasn’t the one going into Seattle from our house. That would cause a pretty huge problem!
And I can e-mail Jake. I have been on and off here. Has he put his papers in yet? He is coming out at a great time... with all the sister missionaries! And I’m excited for Jace [to get baptized]. I’m sure he is just as excited. Who is baptizing him again?
This area just keeps getting harder and harder, but I guess we just have to deal with it. It doesn’t help that we have no miles! The rest of this week we will be tracting Harrisville. We plan on knocking on every door in the whole town. We have already knocked probably 70% of the doors, so that will be something cool to accomplish. Knock on every door in the town, and something fun to tell my next companion and Pres. Pitt!
Oh and we had a pretty promising investigator, and we were coming back to teach him again, and brought out Branch President. Anyway, we were having a great lesson with him (Kyle) and then his wife came out (who is a part of "First Assembly of God"), and we brought up the Book of Mormon, and she said "I can’t hold my tongue any longer. The Book of Mormon is not scripture. It says in the Bible you can’t add to it." Before we could politely explain to her why it is not a part of the Bible and a separate book of inspired scripture, our Branch President got in an argument with her, which in turn sparked her and they pretty much had a yelling match. We tried to stop the 2, but they were both upset. Eventually it died down and Kyle says to us, "See, I told you it was a good idea to hide my Book of Mormon from her" (And by the way Kyle is an amazing guy who is open and loves to learn. He had hid it in his work truck so that his wife wouldn’t throw it away.) Anyway, after he said that, she looks at him with a look I would hate to get from any woman and says in a low scary voice, "You... Have... That… Book?" To which he didn’t respond and made an excuse for her to go inside too cool down. So now we feel really bad that because we might not be able to come back, and that Kyle is probably sleeping in the shed outside. Anyway, we are going to try and call and apologize in the near future when she cools down a bit. And we think when she went inside she called her preacher so it should be interesting to bash... again with a crazy preacher. (And this is one of the branches off the Pentecostal church, who "Speak in tongues, and roll around on the ground. A.K.A “Holy Rollers”).
And you didn’t break any rules sending the package! That will keep me alive for sure! And the sweatshirt has helped quite a bit. It’s crazy but the last 2 nights got below 30! Sadly the rest of the week is supposed to me mid to high 80's and pretty humid, and we have to walk everywhere! It will be just like sitting in sauna, except in a white shirt a tie and slacks!
Thanks for that info on the masons. I was just curious because they seem to run our whole area. There is a lodge in every town and a masonic graveyard in every town as well.
I wouldn’t mind if you guys would remind people to write me.