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, March 4, 2014

New Area; New Companion; Investigator has Baptismal Date (Snow! Snow! and More Snow!)

February 14, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Sorry, I’m late getting to you all, but we got about 14-18 inches of snow. We measured it the night it started and had a foot already! We actually played volleyball at the church, and there was already about an inch down so we would be alright. We left about an hour later and there was close to 5 inches! We made it home alright, and then got a text that we were not to drive the whole next day. It doesn’t help that we have a 2 wheel drive vehicle. Before we left the church we had some fun in the parking lot, then bishop pulled in and we thought “oh no, we are in trouble.” He pulled up and said, "Let me show y'all how it’s done" and our bishop took his truck and tore up the parking lot! He is probably one of my favorite bishops I’ve had on my mission. He is really easy going and relaxed.

Last night we went to a member’s house for a bonfire and sleigh riding (What they call sledding) and then took the tractor and made a path for us to go down, and the we hopped in the bucket of the tractor and it took us back to the top to go down again! It was a blast!

Anyway, we decided to drive today because we were getting cabin fever, so we took our 2 wheel drive out. And we made it pretty good! 

Now for the news . . . . I’m getting transferred to Beckley, WV and serving with Elder T., no one knows who he is here, so it will be a surprise! When I told the members where I’m going as well as some investigators they all said something along the lines of, "Have fun. It’s an interesting place up there,” and, “stay away from nitro." From what I’ve been told Nitro, WV is similar to the place in the movie, "Wrong Turn" which was filmed in WV. Where a family takes a wrong turn and ends up trying to get away from all these crazy inbreads. So I’m excited to go to Nitro and take some picture for you all :)

Beckley is a bigger city from what I’ve been told. They have a mall and a Dick’s sporting goods there! It’s gonna be the biggest place I’ve been my whole mission!

Anyway not much else has happened but I’m excited to be transferred, even though it will be on Saturday instead of Thursday because of the storm!

I’ll be spending the majority of today digging peoples drive ways!

Love you all!

Elder Latimer

February 18, 2014

Hi Everyone!
So Beckley, WV is nice. It’s a much bigger place than I’ve served in before! Although it is still West Virginia. The roads are very small, windy, and in bad shape and go every which way. and the people are interesting as well. It hit me I wasn’t in Virginia (the promise land) anymore when we visited a guy who lives in a tiny trailer that is falling apart, has a 70 inch flat screen tv and lives with his 70 year old aunt with dementia -- and not to mention that neither have any teeth!  Anyway I’ll have to get readjusted to being in West Virginia again!
My companion is Elder T. He is from all over. They moved a lot while he was growing up. He last lived in Vancouver, WA. So it’s nice to not have a Utah companion, although this transfer will probably be my toughest yet. He is a nice kid and all, but really awkward... like a lot, and he just finished training so I’m having to get used to all the kind of corny (but good?) phrases all missionaries like to use when they first come out. That, and he likes to try and read chapters with investigators that they don’t need. He just likes to try and make some deep out-in-left-field connection.  Last time we read Mormon 9, and then invited them to church. Needless to say we haven’t heard from that person since. But I’m hoping i will learn something this transfer... maybe patience?
It is nice that we have 3 sets of missionaries in our ward. We share the area with the sisters who are pretty cool, and another set of missionaries in a place called Oak Hill. They are pretty fun guys, so that should help.
The ward seems pretty cool. They are actually smaller than in Pembroke. I think I will grow to like them. They seem like fun people. But it might be hard for them to match the Pembroke ward. We will see!

We are getting hit with snow pretty good! Like I said before, I think, last Wednesday-Thursday we got 18 inches of snow! And so we didn’t do much work cause we had a little 2 wheel drive Chevy Malibu. I’m pretty excited now cause we have a truck in this area! I’ve been waiting for one my whole mission! Although again Elder T. isn’t the best driver. He has only had his license since before he came out, so for less than like 4 months, and now he is driving a truck on the West Virginia roads. He has already hit a sign. I’m excited for when it’s my turn to drive! 
And I will pray about the whole school thing. I’m still definitely leaning towards Boise State. I’ll pray about it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll still want to go to Boise State. I don’t think I could handle BYU-I from all I’ve heard and missionaries I’ve met. it sounds to me like i would be miserable there... but I will still pray and decide.
Love you all!

Elder Latimer
Oh and My address is 105 Arnold Ave Beckley, WV 25801
Love you all!

February 24, 2014

Hi Everyone!

The new area is pretty good. It seems every area I go into struggles with investigators. By that I mean the amount of them. I guess we will work on finding. Like I told you last time, my companion is still in that phase of, well I don't know how to explain it, but he just thinks too hard and to deep and makes everything confusing. The other day he made us walk up a fire escape and knock on every fire escape door because there wasn't a front door to get to where this person lived (it was a bad address that took us to a store in some building downtown). It was ridiculous. And he LOVES to tract.  His decision for everything is to tract, and recently we have been told to try and not tract because of how ineffective it is compared to seeing part-member families and less-actives and seeking referrals. Even so he thinks it is the Spirit prompting him, that's why we knocked on all the fire escape door 3 stories up on a rusted walkway. Once, we tried to visit a less active. She said she doesn't want us back, and she isn't Mormon any more and to leave her alone. So we got back in the car and he said, "The Spirit told me we need to go back and tell her about the Book of Mormon." So I did because I didn't want to be the one to cause a problem. We went back 30 seconds after she told us to never come back, and he asked her about the Book of Mormon. Then she proceeded to yell at us and tell us to leave or she will call the cops. We left then got in the car.  He sat there quiet for a minute or so and said, "Elder we need to go back again." At this point I was thinking, "Are you kidding me?!" Anyway we went back and she was on the phone with the cops, and so we left and got in the car and he says, "I don't know why people get so mad so easily!"  

One thing I’ve learned in the part of the country, and everywhere I think is that people don't like to get pushed. You need to feel them out and become their friends and go the direction they need. He likes to force everything, and tell them they "need" to come to Church and they "have" to quit smoking etc... and he offends a lot of people because no one like to be told what to do -- especially by a 19 year old they have never met before. I told him that and he went off on how our purpose is to change their lives and baptize them. I just said, “whatever” and that was that. Then we went and saw a member who is a friend of people we are teaching. One of the people he practically tied to a tractor and was dragging them to the baptismal font and she said she was getting baptized in another church. The member sat him down and gave him a good rebuking. He told him he needs to "Back off, now! unless you want them to leave and never come back. You can’t push people here. This is a smoking state and you can’t tell people what they need to do. That's how you lose them." So that was nice he got it from someone other than me. Now he always reminds me of how I need to remember not to push, but to go easy so we don't scare them away.

Anyway sorry about the rant. It’s the only time I can because if I do to other missionaries they look down on you for not loving your companion...

Other than that things are going all right.  Not too much is happening. Although there is a member we see who is interesting. His name is Bro. H., and he is the guy who loves his stories. For example, he tells us:

“I can tell the weather by looking at the stars and the moon”

“I can curl 450 easy”

“I broke those two steel axes just splitting wood, don't make me angry”

“Your fish sits in the freezer for 7 years”

“Alaska has enough water to power the United States for 3000 years”

“I’m too smart for college, I know more than people with doctorates”

“I’m the only white guy native Americans will fish with”

“I go out for an hour put down my net and pull up 8000 pounds of halibut”

“I can do anything with meat. I’m a self-taught Master Chef”

“When I drove trucks, I got permission from all the stake presidents to baptize people because they wouldn't get baptized unless I do it. I have over 200 baptisms, I know what im doing.”

He has a ton more, and I’ve only met him twice!, He is the kind of guy that is the best at everything and no one can tell him otherwise. The funny thing is he completely believes himself!

We were searching for an apartment, because where we live now has a giant floor vent for a heater that is like a grill. I’ve burnt my foot on it 3 times already. The house is run down and in the ghetto, well . . . as ghetto as West Virginia can be I guess.

The place we found we are moving into mid-March. It is two stories has two kitchens two fridges two washer and dryers! And a ping pong table! So we are pretty excited. I hope they put another set of missionaries in with us!

There is skiing in West Virginia, I don't know where but I know that there is! And I did get the pants and they do fit, Thank you!  I can’t wait for the cookies!!! I have some stuff I need to send to you all too, I just need to wait for the first of the month!

Other than all of that not too much else is going on, just trying to endure this transfer.

Oh and did you ever send back the XD card for the camera? if you did I must have lost it and need to buy a new one so I can send the one I have home to you. Let me know so I know if I should buy one.

My backpack broke, so I’m going to have to look for a new one!

That's about all!

Elder Latimer

P.S Have you shipped any protein? Love you!

And I would like to share a text conversation we had with the sister missionaries with you... we are terrible!

Sisters: Do you have Jeffs number, and could you give it to us?

Us: Ok, well we do know a guy who knows a guy, whos dogs first owners brothers wifes cousins roomates dads second cousins sons-in-laws fostered half brothers mothers  cats vets former foreign exchange students nemesis sisters boyfriends trainers AA sponsors favorite movie stars PR lawyers doctors mechanic could probably help ya out.
And the previously mentioned mechanics number is .....

Sisters: Was it the foster sons biological or foster mothers?

Us: Unknown the babies were switched at birth... Welcome to the WVCM!

Sisters: Whose # is that?

Us: Its the mechanic I though we told you

Sisters: Well yes, whats the mechanics name?

Us: Ask the doctor.
Then from that they stopped responding!

Love you!

March 4, 2014

Hi Everyone!

Things are going good here, still trying to endure but it’s not too bad. My companion has seemed to relax a little bit so that’s nice, although all he wants to do is tract all the time! The other day it was pouring rain, and he wanted to tract.  I told him that less-actives, part member families, former investigators, and member referrals are the way to go. They have told us they are trying to eliminate tracting, but he doesn’t want to hear it. Oh well.

They haven’t told us about those new things yet [his mom shared some new approaches and initiatives in missionary work that she learned about recently]. We do have specialized training this transfer so maybe we will learn it there! I will be sending the package of stuff this week, just have to get back the pirate CD from the investigator in my last area from another set of elders!

The other day we went out with a family who is moving for lunch, and my companion and I did the blazin’ challenge at Buffalo Wild wings. That’s eating 12 blazin’ wings in 6 minutes. We both did it, and my mouth burnt so bad. The worst part was all around my face where the sauce went.  It felt like I was holding my face against a furnace! Or, if you got like a second degree burn from under your nose to your chin and all around there then smacked it – that’s what it felt like for a good hour or two! I have pictures on the card I will be sending home! The hardest part was how fast you had to eat them. Not only were they so spicy they made you cry (and eat boogers cause your nose runs and you don’t have time to wipe it), but the wings were so hot temperature-wise I burnt the top of my mouth too!

Anyway other than that not too much else is going on. We did go to a member’s to eat and taught their son’s fiancé. She had told us she had been praying to know truth. We talked about the temple and just about everything, and then showed her a video with a combination of Elder Holland and President Eyring called “Missionary work and the Atonment.” it is amazing! And she loved it and plans to be baptized on the 1st of April.  She and her fiancé have already begun making plans to go to the Hawaii temple after a year of membership. She said she saw the temple a few years ago and said it felt like it was just pulling her there, and she needed to go. So thats exciting! I made sure to let my companion know . . . (Members involved in the work... not tracting :)

It’s still winter here.... We got another 6-8 inches last night. I’m very ready for summer to be here because people here in the winter hibernate. If it’s cold dark or wet they stay inside and don’t want to talk to anyone, unlike the summer where everyone is in a good mood and outside having fun and when there are a lot of service opportunities! So summer will be great!

Other than that not much else is going on!

Love you all!

-Elder Latimer

P.S Let me know when you ship the protein because we are moving to another house on the 15th 

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