October 8, 2017
So I thought we were going to a soccer game but president just said that the missionaries outside of a certain area weren't allowed to go, so plans have changed and as of now it seems like I'm going to be having a chill p-day. Last p-day was dope though. I'll try and send you video in a little bit.
So our investigator did not get baptized this week, we decided to wait till next week so that he could go to church 2 times before he got baptized. But this last Sunday he didn't show, which was weird because we called him and he said that he was on his way, but three hours later he still didn't show. So I guess we're going to have to wait for another 2 weeks before he'll be ready for baptism. Oh well, hopefully he'll come along, he has a solid testimony, he's just incredibly flakey when it comes to appointments.
Zone conference was all right. My district was asked to give a musical number which is weird, because the only time in which we are all together, is during district meetings. So we really didn't have any time to prepare. I think we had a chance to practice once, so that's why the performance was so... improvised.
Last week we rode elephants, and that was way dope. I have a ton of cool video. Most of it is on my comps go pro (mine right before we got to ride the elephants) so I'll get those to you as soon as I get a chance.
I never thought that I'd say it, but I miss fall weather in the U.S. It may be a bit chilly and gloomy in appearance, but, at least it gives you an opportunity to wear a jacket.haha. I'm suprised my suit fits Josh mostly because I'm a small guy. But I'm glad to hear it worked out.
What's the trial for? It sounds interesting? What are the different sides? It sounds way interesting!
I did watch general conference this week and it was way solid! A lot of it seemed to answer questions that our investigators/ RC's had, which was amazing. Hollands talk was amazing an Callisters was by far one of my favorite!
I'm so excited to hear that Jake and Haylee are doing well! BE sure to tell me all about them.
I'll be sure to write you about things that are going on around here.
Okay I think that's all for this week. I'll write you next week!
All the best
- Elder Latimer
October 17, 2017
Riding elephants was definitely an experience haha. It was a tad uncomfortable to sit on, and surprisingly hard to balance where I was sitting (the neck), but it was definitely a lot of fun! If you and mom come back here to pick me up, we are definitely going!
We actually figured things out with our investigator who delayed his baptism (Mark) turns out, he's still way solid.The only reason he hadn't been coming to church on Sundays, is because he hadn't told his parents about his decision to learn, and so the only times he could go, was when could find an excuse to be gone to three hours. But the good news is that he just got permission from his parents a few days ago, so he shouldn't have anything keeping him from going from here on out! He has a new date for this next saturday! We'll see how this works out, but I don't see any problems.
Oh sorry! I just realized I forgot to tell you and mom that transfers were this Thursday which is the reason why I'm replying on Wednesday! haha sorry for that! Things are staying the same here in Kalasin and I'm killing off my companion Elder Fukino. Aside from that, there's not anything too interesting going on in Kalasine, I've been asked to give a talk next Sunday, still not sure about what, and we have some possible new investigators coming from a referral. So there is that! Sorry for the lack of things to report about, Kalasin, a lot like Kumpawapi is a slow burning area. Stuff gets done, but it does so slowly of time.
It's good to hear that everything is going well at home! The Symposium sounds like it has been going well, it's always so interesting to see people of different religions.
I'm sorry that most of your trip to Boston was spent traveling but it still seems like it would be pretty cool to go to a place with so much historical background! Is this your first time in an in court case, or did you do stuff like this before you were hired as a company lawyer?
Conference was fantastic! there were so many great talks, and a lot of them had been able to help our members and Rc's who had come to us with problems the week before! So that was a blessing to say the least.
I think that that is about all for now! Aside from a gopro session 5 charger, I don't think there is anything that I need. I have a hard drive that I put all of my photo's on so we'll have that when I get home. I've just started deleting previously uploaded photos on my one drive to make space for future photos that I'll send to you and mom!
Well, that's it for this week! Miss you and mom, and wish you guys the best
- Elder Latimer
October 29, 2017
Hey Dad! Glad to hear that things are going well with your case in Boston! Our investigator Brother Mark was baptized this last Saturday. He couldn't make it to church on Sunday, but he assured us that he would be going this next Sunday! He is doing fantastic! He gave a great testimony during the meeting, and two of our other investigators were there, so we hope that it had an impact on them! Aside from that, there wasn't too much that needs to be said about missionary work in Galasin. Still only have a few investigators, so we've been inviting like crazy. Not a lot of success but we'll be hanging in here. On Sunday we went to a members rice fields. It's around the time where they drain the fields and a few small ponds in order to harvest rice. But they also go into the drained ponds and gather fish, so I got to do that! I got some footage/pictures of that! I'll send those over after this!
My comp is doing well. We doing a lot more member work, which is great, because inviting is not the best way of getting investigators here. Meeting with members here is hard though because everyone here works till 6.00 and there are only like 3 days where we have time for that! I hope I will be in Kalasin for another few transfers, it's a great area with fantastic members!
Mom told me about the lesson you guys taught! It sounded really great. She sent me an outline of what you guys talked about during girls camp. Wish Jonathan good luck from me! I'll be praying for him! By his sophomore year he should be a healthy 5'8 or 5'9!
It's so crazy how fast/slow time seems to go! It feels like just a few months ago that I was at home, and just a year ago that I was still in High school!
There are a lot of things that I've learned as a missionary. I'll write you a separate letter for that. I'm afraid I may not have to write it and email others today! But I'll do my best to get that to you. My language skills are getting better! I have been able to teach the gospel pretty well in terms of language, but when it came to just talking to people about life, it was a bit harder. But this area has really helped that since all the members are always wanting to talk with the missionaries. I love reading Thai! It's such a fun/challenging experience at time. for the most part I can read and understand, but if I ever get into something like the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi I'm a complete wreck! I love reading the Book of Mormon in Thai! Right now I'm close to finishing Alma! I should have finished right now but I hadn't read in Thai since my transfers in Samutprakan.
Well that's about all for now! I'll send you guys some pictures!
- Elder Latimer
p.s I was actually wondering if you and mom could send up some hair gel, the stuff in the green tube bottle that I came up with. I can't remember what it is called at the moment, but Mom might know! if you would be able to send that up, that'd be fantastic!
November 8, 2017
It's not just you, time seems to fly by. Day by day it moves slowly, but looking back, wow has it gone
Yeah Mark it way dope. He actually got confirmed this last Sunday. He actually has a pretty good conversion story. At first he just met with us because he likes studying religion, but he would always drop appointments with us, and would almost never keep commitments. But one day, when we met with him , we told him that if he wanted to know whether or not this Church was true, He would have to pray, he prayed to know and almost instantly he knew that it was true, ever since then he has been very much willing to meet with us and keep commitments. He was even willing to tell his overly buddhist parents of his beliefs! a few weeks later he was Baptized and confirmed! It has been so amazing to see him progress!
Loygratone was great. I had a chance to go last year. I don't know how to accurately descibe it all but here's the wikipedia article that does! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Krathong. Don't worry about the members we were with, 2 of them are about 20 years older then me and the other one is a bit out of my weight class, so you don't have to fret. They're all super cool though. They always help the missionaries teach and go travel on P-days
Oh I forgot to tell mom about the Mission tour that we had! So this Saturday everyone in the Isan (the rural part of Thailand) went to mission tour up in Udon, where Elder Evens trained us on talking with and not to people, as well as how to better work with members. It was fantastic! I even had a chance to see some of my group too! It was wayyy fun! But aside from that I had a pretty unremarkable week as well! I'll send you and mom some pics of my travel!
Wish you two the best,
November 12, 2017
Hey Dad! Mom told me about your trip to Idaho. I hope all is going well! How are Josh and Lettie doing, I saw your picture with them in front of the temple! I hope Jake will be doing better soon enough with you to help prepare him for the LSAT. Let me know how he's doing when he gets there and whether or not he him Josh, Lettie or you want from Thailand!
Mission life is great as always, but a little slow, which is par for the course here in the isan (the rural areas of thailand). but things are slowly coming along. We didn't get any new investigators this week, which is sad, but, we still have two promising progressing investigators who will hopefully get baptized this transfer. They are a referral from their recently returned mom. I think things are going to get a lot better. At first their mom was kind of abrupt and grumpy when we went to see her, but now she's so much kinder and open. I feel like if we could get her to help her children progress it would be a huge step forward for them! But we'll see. Aside from that, we are doing a lot of LA finding. Mostly because it's the only thing we can do while inviting to be the most effective. Haven't got much so far but we're hopeful that the lord will bless us with someone who is ready to be taught (or taught again).
There's not to much to report on in terms of things that have happened, but, Last week we had mission tour which was fun. I got to learn from Elder Evens, and this last week we got to pday with some members around Kalasin. I already sent you and mom a ton of pictures that a member took, so you can sift through those if you want!
Everything sounds pretty good back at home. By the way, how is that new book you are reading? Tell me more about it. I've recently gotten in to some theology books (just the ones that president approved plus some stuff on lds.org) and they are way good. If you have a chance to read any from CS Lewis, they are exceptionally good. Mere Christianity is a basic and concise summary of what most Christians believe (a few of which our church does not share, but it's still great to help understanding other sects of christianity). The weight of Glory is a compilation of essays that Lewis has written about Christianity. Those are fantastic as well, his first essay is great, and his one about forgiveness is definitely a close second. There are a few more, but I'd end up writing too much. Give the other two I mentioned a read when you have the chance!
Thanks for sending off the christmas package! You and Mom are the best. As always let me know if there is anything you two would want from Thailand!
Wish you the best!
November 19, 2017
Hey Dad, How’s it going?
I love the face2face, I had a chance to listen to the last one on a previous p-day. From what I am aware of since it's on LDS.org it's not against the rules. If it's already up, I might just listen to it while I email everyone this p-day.
I hope Jake is doing better! How was he when you went to see him? LSAT sounds like a huge hassle! Just out of curiosity, what all does it cover? What classes do you need to take to prepare for it beforehand?
I'm glad to hear that Josh and Lettie are doing great as usual. And as for things at the home front, things seem to be going well so far.
So as for investigators, we have too progressing investigators (the siblings) who are making advances, slowly, but advances none the less. We also have two new promising investigators who were actually referrals from elders in other areas. We've talked to both of them on the phone and they seem very interested in the church.
This week we also got to go on a switch of with the elders in Mahasarakam, which was way dope. We had a way busy day, and got to visit some investigators, La's and even got to give a blessing! It was nice to have a full and busy day. I hadn't had a day like that since Chiangmai. But it's all good, I love kalasin nonetheless!
In other news we were able go harvest rice. We got a ton of pictures and videos. I'll send those over. Aside from that, I think that's all I have for this week.
Wish you and mom the best! Have a great thanksgiving!
- Elder Latimer
November 28, 2017
Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes! From what I've heard and read from you and Mom, it seems that Thanksgiving back at home was a blast. They don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here in Thailand, but usually we are able to find and American Member in one of the wards we are in who is willing to take us in. Well this year wasn't one of those years, so we didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving meal, but we did pound down about $10 worth of KFC here (which is a ton of food in Thailand) and after that, we went to Mahasarakam for to shop for phones. The Elders down there know a member who could get us a pretty sizable discount, so we got permission from the ZL's to go down there for the rest of that day. After we bought phones, we went back to the Mahasarakham church for scripture class which was great! We just read and discussed 2-3 chapters but afterwards all of the members and missionaries shared what they were grateful for. It was way sweet.
The work in Kalasin is still a slow burner. We contact a lot but not too much success, and we're trying to work with members more, but it's just a bit of a challenge since everyone works until 6! But we'll keep on keeping on. We've actually been blessed with a ton of referrals from other areas, who should be coming in to our area by Christmas time, so I'm incredibly hopeful for that! My companion Elder Fukino, is going home, which is kind of sad, because he was way chill, and great with members, and someone from my group is coming up to be my companion. I'm hyped about that, he likes to run so I might finally have a companion who will want to go running in the mornings!
I'm way jealous of you guys! Mexico sounds like a blast! Be sure to send pictures!
For right now we are not participating in the #LightTheWorld campaign, but as soon as we get cell phones we will (We're allowed to use facebook since the change was implemented).
Oak and Urn (the siblings) are still progressing slowly, but, we finally got their mom to agree to help us sit down and teach them, so we're hoping that will really help the see the importance of the gospel. Their mom is a return missionary, so she probably knows some tricks that we don't so I'm super excited to learn from her!
Oh, by the way, I did get my phone, and it's actually pretty nice since I got it for a discounted price. I think that if all goes well, I might use this one when I go back home as well! Thanks for going through all of that hassle for me! We were going to get our phones back from the office on transfers, but I've just recieved word that we will actually be getting them back during zone conference, which lucky for me should be in the beginning of December, since we are having Stake Conference and Zone conference back to back. The good news is, I think that we may be able to use the phones to skype, which will make it a lot less of a hassle to get in touch with you guys! We might even be able to use facebook video chat and set up a group!
Right now I think I'm good on stuff! Thank you and Mom so much for everything! I'll talk to you next week (I'm not sure if it will be on Monday or not since Zone conference will be coming up the beginning of this next month) Talk to you soon!
- Elder Latimer
December 3, 2017
What up Mom?
I'm still in Kalasin, but I have a new companion. His name is Elder Brinkerhoff, and he's from Utah! Well Technically Indiana, but he spent most of his life in Utah, so I'm not really sure if that counts or not! We are actually from the same group, but I'm the senior companion so that's pretty dope, I'll be sure to abuse my new power as much as possible in the upcoming weeks.
I hear that Elder Smith was going to visit the Kumpawapi are last transfer! Did he go to church there yesterday? I miss Kumps a ton! I joked in an email with president about sending me back, and he actually seemed pretty open to it, so I have my fingers crossed for the next upcoming transfers! I love Elder Smith! I'm kind of sad that I won't be able to see him, but it's all chill. He's going to Provo and I'm trying to transfer there, or somewhere in Utah, So I'm sure I'll see him around! So I've been talking to Jake and Hailey and it sounds like they've decided on August third, So I think I may ask president to release me a week or two early. It'll be sad to not leave with my group, but it is a sacrifice that I would be more than happy to make to go to Jake and Haileys wedding!
I'm glad Christmas planning/decorating is going great! It's so exciting that you guys are going to Mexico for Christmas break! Are Josh and Lettie going to go as well, or are they going to stay back in Idaho for Christmas break? I've heard about the light the world campaign but I don't know what's needed to participate, so if you could send me a calendar, that would be much appreciated!
I always love to hear Convert Stories. Brother Stevens sounds like an amazing person! Tell him I said hi and am so happy for his decision to join the church! He sounds like he has an amazing testimony. I think It's stories like this that show just how important members can be in someone’s conversion, I know that in Thailand especially, there are a lot of people who are interested in the church but are afraid to come because they don't feel welcomed! and Vise Versa, There are those who at first are not interested but are immediately pulled in because they feel the love and support of the members at the church.
Huh, I didn't think the insurance company would have to get involved with that Korean lady haha! I'm glad you don't have to pay out of pocket, but I'm sad you have to deal with all of that!
oh and by the way, Thanks for the christmas package! I've been needing socks for forever, and now I finally have a formal pair of dress shoes again (my other pair got destroyed after extensive use). I've been walking around on rubber shoes, which I think, I might stick with for most of my mission. They are cheap, durable, and best part is they dry out super quickly when i rains, so I don't have to worry about wet shoes! But the shoes that you sent me we be great for my Zone conferences. interviews, general authority visits, and homecoming! Oh and the Sour patch kids are delicious Haha, Thank You! I know I was supposed to wait, but I'm glad I didn't, Almost of the socks that I had at the beginning of my mission had disappeared!
I wish you the best and will Talk to you later (and send some pictures as well!)
Talk to you later
Ya boi josef
December 12, 2017
Hey Dad! What's Good
It's all good, you didn't miss me, I am actually still at an internet cafe, just downloading some videos to upload. I hope that your flight went well!
Our zone conference was a ton of fun! Usually in the Thailand Bangkok Mission, we have a special Christmas to commemorate Christmas, we had a ton of dope activities! We had a white elephant gift exchange which was a ton of fun, a few mini games, and we got to watch a movie (the best two years) which is, as always, a blast. We actually had our zone conference in a small area called Burriram, because the day before we had stake conference. Because of this unusual switch up, the missionaries got to stay a couple of nights in a way nice hotel. It was a ton of fun!
My comp is Elder Brinkerhoff. He's alright. Our investigators that we are working with right now, are two kids who are the children of a recently returned LA, and the husband of a recent convert. The kids are great, bit are facing challenges with things that most teenagers deal with (not reading, not opening up about questions and concerns, girls, you get probably get the picture). So we are slowly going through that with them. As for the husband who we are working with, well one roadblock is that he is always working somewhere other than Kalasin, so we can almost never meet with him. But we will try and find a way to make it work! As for church, we have a bout a regular attendance of 45 but I have a goal to try and raise it to 50 by the end of the transfer, I'll try and remember to update you on that!
As for this week, I don't think I have anything else! Let me know if you want anything. As of now I am looking for a nativity set for Mom, but if you want anything just shoot me an email!
- เอ็ลเดอร์ รัก
December 31, 2017
Hey Dad. So I think I've found some spare time to write you (Thai food always has the possibility of destroying your stomach). It was great to talk with you and Mom as well! It was a ton of fun! It was a bit weird just because of the delay and other errors (Skype is the worst sometimes) but other than that it was fantastic! I'm glad we don't have to worry about payphone either! That's always a plus!
Thailand is fantastic. I feel like it's one of the only places that I could serve in and not lose my mind. If I had to door knock all day I think I would go crazy (they send all the strong missionaries to those kind of missions) thankfully my mission isn't too monotonous and has a decent amount of everything. It's weird I just finished my black out year (the only time I will spend a full year, January to December, serving in Thailand). It seems like it has ton by fast, but in a way not fast at all. I look forward to see what the next eight months bring.
I heard about Jake and Hailey! That's so fantastic! I'm glad to see that they are both taking positive steps forward in their relationship! I can't wait to hear about when he finally pops the question!
I already celebrated new years and it was great! We went over to a member’s house in the rice fields for lunch and then I stayed up till twelve to watch the new year role in. They even had fireworks it was great. All the stray dogs lost it, it was hilarious to watch them run around!
My new year’s goals include: learning 10 new words a day,
Reading 2 chapters of the book of Mormon a day in Thai and English, and finding tons of new and cool things to do during my mission. Both in proselyting and on p-days.
Those all sound like way cool books! I'm really interested on hearing more about the Jesus the Christ book. I've read it through two or three times during my mission and have started listening to the audio in the morning to keep me awake. It's one of my favorite missionary books.
Well that's about all I have for now. We're going to go see a dinosaur museum which is cool. I've already went but my comp hasn't so we're going again!
Wish you and Mom the best!
Happy New Year
- Elder Latimer เอ็ลเดอร์ รัก
January 9, 2018
It's okay, it's great to hear from you! My new year was good but my feelings have been rattled a little ever since I found out both me and my comp were moving out of Kalasin. It's just so sad because the members here are so awesome and we had recently picked up some pretty promising investigators, but I trust the new elders coming in will to a great job and taking care of the area. I'm going to Sagonakan (where you go to eat dogs) and my comp is going to Bangkapi (my old area in Bangkok). I'm still a little excited because me and my new comp (I don't know who it is yet) are replacing the sisters that were there which means that I am finally going to be in a four elder house! I'm excited for this new opportunity and will let you know who things turn out next week!
That's hilarious about Noel haha! Keep me updated on the Shenanigans!
Well the work here was slowly getting better, we had gotten some referrals that were great! But now that I'm moving I'm gonna have to help the other investigators learn how to help then progress haha!
I did hear about President Monson it is so sad to see him go, but I look forward to see what the future will bring for the president. I wonder who will be brought onto the quorum now!
I think that right now I am good on stuff. I will let you know if there is anything that I need, but right now I am all good!
Sorry for the short email but I've got to get a ton of stuff put together haha.
Good look! I wish you and mom a great week
January 14, 2018
So this week has been a crazy mix of switch ups. I whitewashed out of กาฬสินธุ์ (Kalasin) and white washed into (สกลนคร) which has been a huge change. The area here is a lot bigger than Kalasin and the members here are also so amazing and kind! I think that this is actually Collin’s greeny area so he'll know a lot more about it than I do. My comp and I replace the sisters who used to be here so most of the transition has been me and my comp trying to figure out what to do and picking up where the sisters left off. My comp name is Elder Pflueger. He was also Decker’s comp in the MTC. He's pretty chill. We've been working with members and it's worked it's worked our pretty well so far. A member took us out to visit some people on Saturday and we got 3 new investigators out of that!
On Sunday we met with the rest of the members for the first time, and they are so nice. The one elder who did stay was telling me that they post a ton of pictures of the Elders, so be on the look out for that.
Brother รัก (his name is pronounced "rack" but is spelled "luck" in romanized). Is so awesome! He was in the Samutprakan church but moved to Bangkapi. He's way chill and I still talk to him all the time! If we come back here for spring break or something like that, we'd have to meet up with him.
That's so exciting to hear about the Murray's and the future children! It's so strange to see how everyone has grown up and had their own kids. And I'm for sure going to have to write Laura and welcome her to missionary life. I'm assuming her email is just Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org so I'll give it a shot!
I hope that Both of your callings (just for the record I'm writing you both right now from the house since me and the other elders are to lazy to leave right now haha. So you may see some things that don't correspond with your email specifically but will match up with Mom or Dads) are going well. I always love to hear about that kind of stuff!
Unfortunately I was not able to watch President Monson’s funeral but I'm not yet sure whether we will be able to watch Nelson’s announcement.
In other weird news. We crashed a funeral. We had a member who wanted us to go help comfort her friend at a funeral. Well we showed up and the friend wasn't there and by that time the member had gone to talk with friends. So we just sat with some strangers and ate all of their chicken and soda. Funny thing is, no one even questioned why we were there. So I think we might crash so more funerals to save money on food
Oh also we planted a mango tree. I'll send a picture
I've been talking to Jake and Hailey and they both seem way good for each other! I can't wait to be updated on when he finally pops the question.
Miss you guys! I'll try and send pictures if we ever make it to an internet cafe!
See you in a cool minute
- Elder Latimer