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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Heat, Humidity, and Knocking Doors

Two new letters from Elder Latimer.  He is doing great!  Please write him at joshua.latimer@myldsmail.net

June 17, 2013


I’ll be sure to be sending you something, they have some interesting stuff here!

Yes, they still do call the new missionaries greenies. He [Josh’s new companion] is from Garden Grove, California. Our mission is receiving a ton of new missionaries also - especially sisters. I wouldn't be surprised if in the next year or 2 there are more sisters than Elders!

It is tough being in this area, and knowing I’ll be here another 2 transfers [due to training a new missionary], but I’ll have to make it work. We found a few guys who play basketball regularly so we will play with them to fellowship. It gives us a nice break from tracting even though we have knocked on about every door in our area!! The other day we knocked on a door, and it was a group of people who were having a Bible study.  They excitedly invited us in, and we were ready to bash, but they turned out to be really nice, and it was a good experience. Although they are one of the churches that speaks in "tongues" and all kind of pray at the same time... so when the prayer came around they all started mumbling under their breath different things. It was honestly really creepy... 

The other day we were wanting two big tires for our back yard to use to work out. As we drove by a truck shop they had tires outside so we stopped and asked if we could have them. They were big semi tires, and the guys said we could have them if we could even fit one of them in our Subaru.... we fit 3!!! So now we have a great cross fit kind of work out to do along with the dumb-bells. Then we also will run 3 miles in the morning so we are keeping in shape! 

Our branch is slowly getting smaller and smaller... another family just left to Charleston, so we aren’t sure what to do if the branch ends up closing. I guess we will find out.

You don’t know how happy I am to know the [Miami] Heat are down! I hope the Spurs can pull it off. I kind of like the Spurs because they are kinda a bunch of old guys who play fundamental basketball, as opposed to the young high flying Heat super star team.

Yes, we do have A/C in our house now, thank goodness.  It’s been getting hot and having a few storms as well. They have some of the coolest lightning storms here. The other day it rained so hard our house started to flood a bit, and at one point the rain was coming down side ways!  There are a lot of bugs but they don’t bite too bad. They do have a ton of "Lightning bugs." I don’t know if you have ever seen those, but the field in front of our house is full of them. It looks like floating neon green waves... it’s pretty cool! 

Other than that I’m doing well, and having a pretty good time. Just trying to stay busy. My stomach started to hurt again, like it did in Ashland. That sharp pain that felt like I was being stabbed... but it went away by the end of the day like the other one. I’m not sure what it is.

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer


Can you send me the "Doctrine and Covenants" videos from the church store? They have a lot of great videos for investigators... AND can you send "The Best Two Years" The Zone Leaders told me it is approved to watch in the mission, and I’ve heard it’s 10 times funnier after of while you are on your mission!

June 24, 2013

The [Church] broadcast was great! From what we heard and have been told, nothing is being put in for sure until President Pitt receives clear instructions on how to do and what to do. But from the sounds of it we will be using facebook, twitter etc... We already have texting and things, but that’s it.  The sad thing is no one in our branch watched the broadcast so they have no idea about what was said.  Maybe we can inform them. I enjoyed the story about the small branch in the basement with only 12 members, because we meet in a small liquor store and only had 8 members this week. Next week Church meetings are canceled because we will be the only ones able to go. So we decided we are going to go to a Baptist church where the pastor we teach is giving a sermon. So they should be cool, maybe we can ask to say a few words? Convert the congregation? That would be a cool story! 

Maybe I can coach Jonathan [in lacrosse] when I get back, but hopefully I’ll be back in Boise by then. But I still can beforehand!  I'm glad Jace is playing football! That’s exciting, I'd think with how smart he is he would make a great QB to read the plays and the defenders and play to their weaknesses.  Or if he gets big enough, a MLB to read the offense and play to their weaknesses! Get him on Creatine now! Just kidding, that probably wouldn’t be good! Although its working wonders for me! I’m at about 152 now. The tires help.  I think it’s also a big plus regaining all that muscle I lost in my left leg after my knee injury. It’s still smaller but getting back to where it was before -- slowly but surely. It seems to still not be 100% healed yet, because it still gives me problems every now and then just from walking. I don’t know if it helps but we play basketball with a less active and non-members about 3-4 times a week (including P-day), but it is good exercise and a chance to get a break from the hard work and a lot more productive to get to know and befriend 6 non-member 17-20 year olds who are surprisingly not involved with tobacco or alcohol, especially for their age and where they are growing up! A lot more productive than 2 hours of tracting would be!

We walk literally everywhere even though we have miles to use and a brand new 20130 Subaru. It’s like 90 degrees and 70% humidity or something and we walk like 10 miles a day! No wonder no one will talk to us while tracting.  It’s because our white shirts and slacks are soaked through with sweat and we do not look happy because we are miserably hot and smell terrible.

The other day at church we were in Sunday School where there was plenty of false doctrine is preached. I was going to tell you what was brought up and discussed for a half hour but I don’t even feel comfortable typing it in. But it stays interesting. 

Afunny story about an older gentleman at Church who reminds me of the old guy from Denis the Menace. He has some funny things to say.  We were talking about gathering Israel from the 4 quarters of the earth, and he says. "I dont know how you can get 4 quarters from the earth, I think its to round to do that." Elder Price and I just laughed quietly to ourselves. Another time while at dinner, we got desert, which was like fudge brownies with uncooked cookie dough on top and ice cream. He was asked how he liked it and he said, "It’s comparable to the time I had to drink a half pint of glucose!" Apparently he had to do that to check for diabetes, which sounds like a terrible idea if you ask me.

And tha’ts great you are helping in missionary work I’m sure the Sister's love it! Hopefully they come around to being baptized. I don’t remember the story about the DeGrazia's... maybe you can tell me next week.
I did hear about the NBA finals. That’s too bad. I just hope he [LeBron] doesn’t get 6 rings. I think they ruined the NBA.  Well, the NBA already kind of sucked, but now that they decided to make a super team and so did the Lakers and a few other teams will I’m sure. It will be like 4 or 5 good teams and blow out games... it’s too ba. I’ll be sticking with college basketball only - at least until Seattle gets another team. The good news is OKC didn’t win so I’m happy about that.

And THANK YOU for getting me “The Best Two Years” so fast.  We watched it that night, and it was hilarious! I have pictures to send you guys, but I need to get the other card I sent you back first so I can keep taking pictures. Have you put all my mission photos on facebook yet? Maybe could you get them printed out and send them to me so I have them to look at every once and a while? Thanks!

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer

Friday, June 14, 2013

Training a New Missionary!

Two letters from Elder Latimer this post . . . lots is happening.  Pics coming soon! -- eds.

June 5, 2013

Hi All:

I would definitely call those shirts a miracle! I dont know how many time i could sweat in one shirt and have it still be white! [eds.: we had a hard time finding short-sleeve white shirts that fit Josh, so he wore only one shirt for a while!]

I wish I could be there for Jace's baptism!  That’s funny how he is trying to stay perfect. I can remember I was the same way, although it lasted probably 10 minutes.

I sure hope Pres. Pitt will allow [Grandma and Grandpa to visit on their way through West Virginia]. Although I’m not sure he will, but who knows? He is a pretty understanding man!

That sounds totally like Jake! [eds. Jake got Steve Pool, the local weatherman to tweet a message to him]. It just makes me laugh how people will treat him like a celebrity! I didn’t even know they had Steve Pool shirts! Hopefully Jake has things to do as a ward missionary. I remember I got called as one and went out like twice to a man that was never home..

With Kyle [our investigator], the man whose wife probably makes him sleep in his truck, we still haven’t had contact with him, and it doesn’t help we already don’t have enough miles, and he lives way far away, but we'll keep trying. Also we are still teaching the Baptist preacher, and he is an incredibly nice and sincere man. We had a lesson with him a few days ago and got a few tears outta him! I’m sure with how sincere he is that he will receive an answer to his prayers although the hard part would be him finding a new job.

We also had just tracted into a lady who when she opened the door, she said, "Are you Mormons?" and we said yes, thinking "oh great we are gonna get told off" and she says, “I investigated your church in New York in the 80's, and I was watching the Jodi Arias trial, and it sparked my interest again.”  She quickly clarified, that it was not what happened in the case that sparked her interest, just the fact she heard about Mormons again. She said she has been wanting to learn more and come to church! So we are going to meet with her again soon!

Also we got an early call for transfers from President Pitt, which doesn’t usually happen, and he had told Elder Brandt that he is training [in a different area]. and me... well he said I am going to be an AP.  I was stunned!  Well not really, but I am training this upcoming transfer in Pennsboro, so that will be interesting! (I wish I could see your face when you read about me being an AP). [eds.: to clarify, Josh wasn’t called to be an assistant to the president – it was a little confusing to us at first!]

One more story that is interesting is we met a woman that is the epitome of West Virginia.  She lives in a trailer, smokes like a freight train, is overweight, wears minimal clothing, has a pet skunk (ho is not de-scented) and a pet mocking bird that says "Poo Poo.” The weirder part is she is a "Jewish Messianic Christian" Never heard of them before, but we have pretty similar doctrine.

We have an investigator who is a free mason and told us a little about it without us asking, which I thought was interesting. He told us how you can only be a mason if you are Christian, and they start off with prayers every meeting. And that they have passwords they use for I’m not sure what, but he gave us a hint, I guess. He said one of them is a distant grandson of Adam.  I don’t know who, but I want  to research, but don’t know if I’ll find free time for it.

Mom, a woman Julee Satre said she friended you on Facebook. She is the mother of a family we visit a lot and asked why you hadn’t accepted her request yet!  So you should! They are a family kind of like ours, Elder Brandt and I love going there because it’s just like being at home. They aren’t all trying to be polite and proper when they are around us like everyone else tries to be. They are themselves, and they are hilarious, especially their 18 year old daughter Ally who has downs syndrome. She is hillarious!

I’ll have to send you some recipe's we got from a vegan 7th day Adventist. He will feed us every once and a while, and his food is amazing and crazy healthy. Some of those things are tofu eggs, oat waffles, baked oats like oatmeal, and some other things. I was kinda hesitant at first to try, but it was actually really good!

Anyway I have to go. I’ll let you know how training is going next week!

Love you guys

Elder Latimer

June 10, 2013

Dear All:

My new companion is Elder Price. He is from Southern California. It’s so nice having a companion that is not from Utah. I've learned that I cannot stand them! Every one of them I’ve met out here has been extremely judgmental and has the kind of attitude that they are better than everyone else. But he is really relaxed and willing to work so that’s nice.

Dont worry I’m not an AP [assistant to the president]. I thought I made it clear but apparently not. I’m just training thank goodness.

The preacher we are teaching wouldn’t have a big problem finding a new job. He is an older guy too - to the point where if he wanted to, I’m sure he could even just retire. But if not, he seems like he can find a job just about anywhere. He is very curious and loves to learn. So hopefully he is willing to act!

We are also teaching a man whose name is Jay. He is a black man from Liberia, Africa and is extremely humble. He had survived the civil war there and came to America. He said he promised God that if he could escape the situation he was in that he would "save souls for Jesus," and is so willing to learn and try things out. He is on date [for baptism] for the first Saturday in July. He was really wanting to be baptized in a river as well, which I think would be really cool. He says he wants to be able to be surrounded by nature and be able to look into the heavens. We are really excited for him.

Other than that everything is going well. Our land lord had come over to switch out refrigerators and went under the house to unhook a water hose connected to the fridge. and broke the valve. So now we haven’t had water for a day, and are replacing the part today. He seems to like to break valves because before that, when he came to grab his washer and dryer, he broke something on the faucet the hose hooked up to and flooded one of the rooms. So things stay interesting!

Our stalker neighbor isn’t getting any better. When Elder Brandt and I were leaving to go to transfers, she told Elder Brandt she will hunt him down and pull him by the ear back here.  Then she stood behind our car and said, “I’m not moving!” I then turned the car on, and she asked if I’m going to run her over. I told Elder Brandt, “What does she think this is a dump truck?   Sorry that wasn’t nice but really funny at the time.

She also asked us the other day how old we were because her friend said she should take us on a date.... along with her bringing over magazines to us every day from her church as an excuse to knock on our door. She also will throw things in our yard and blame it on her little sisters so she can come talk to us. I may have told you that one time our gates were closed to our back yard and she came over and said her dog got into our yard, and we needed to get him for her. This sucks because this is a really nice house, one of the nicer in the mission, and I don’t want to have to move because of her!

I did get the package, thank you! That helps so much especially with the food situation. I think I’ll be pretty comfortable this transfer!  Sister Satre is awesome.  She is a lot of fun and so is her family. Sadly they are moving to Charleston this week.

Love you guys!

Elder Latimer