Monday, July 31, 2017

June/July Letters - New Area; A Baptism; And Getting Hit by a Car!

June 13, 2017

Dear Begetter,

This we really has flown by! And I'm getting transferred! I'm going to the north, and I told mom about it in my last email, so I let her give you the details! Anyway, it's crazy that everyone is coming from and going off to their missions! It is especially great to hear that Tyler is going on his for the right reasons, and even better that Ryan and Hannah were willing to come and listen to his farewell talk! I felt like that is something that can do them both good!

It's so great that Aunt Teri was able to get married! I'm super happy for her and for Chris! Tell them I want to visit them when I get back!

So I was serving in Samutprakan (booty of Bangkok) but I just got last minute transferred to Chiang Rye (up in the north) because an Elder up there broke his wrist and can no longer ride his bike! So I'm going up to replace him! He might be up there to go vacation, because it is full of a ton of pretty hikes!

I'll figure out how to give you permission to view my photos, google drive is weird sometimes!

Freak I'm running low on time, but it was great writing you. What questions I blanked on in this email, I sent to Mom, Sorry I didn't write you more, I still have to pack like crazy!

I'll write you Monday!

Respectfully yours,

Elder Latimer

June 18, 2017

Dad! It's Fathers day!

Thank you for your great example! I can't wait to thank you in person in about a year! Oh and by the way, I made a typo. I'm going to Chiang Mai (not Chiang Rye). But, I'm still in the North, so I'll still be able to send some pretty dope photos! The people up here are nice, well the Thai people (the white people are either really nice or, you know, not really that nice) nice! They are more than willing to just talk with us on the streets! This will be a great transfer for missionary work. I can already tell!

I will in fact be on my old bike! The breaks don't work, the seat falls off and the wheels are bare, but it still gets me where I need to go! As for my comp, I wish that I could say we were equal in proficency, but in reality, he's way skilled and I'm just hoping that some of that will rub off on me haha. 

I hope that your Father’s day was great! Too bad I can't skype you on that day too! But at least I can email you the night of! I'm excited to hear that Josh and Lettie’s wedding is coming up on the rise! Be sure to send me some pictures after the ceremony is all set and done! Oh and tell Jake not to get married ‘till I come back, so I don't have to miss out on any of these other opportunities! 

I think that I already told mom, that A new micro Sd card would be nice. I was planning on getting an inexpensive go pro so that I could take some high quality photos to send home in the upcoming couple of weeks!

Aside from that I don't have much to share! My comp and I are white washing in, so a lot of our progress so far has been meeting with members and getting lost along the way, but hopefully in a week or two, I'll have everything under raps!

June 25, 2017

Hey Dad! I saw the pictures! It looks awesome! I'm glad they're both happy!

It sounds like it was an awesome ceremony! Tell them I wish them the best, and tell Lettie that I give my condolences for the loss of her pig, and it's so cool that you guys made a dance floor for the occasion. Send me some more pictures! From what I've seen the entire set up looks beautiful. I can't wait to see wait to see where Josh and Lettie are when I get back! They sound really good for each other!

I may have met Brother Murray but at the moment I'm not too sure who he is! I'll keep an eye out, but since Elder Hanks is the DL we are usually scrambling around after church to meet up with people!

Anyway, Chaing Mai is different from most area's because of, well, WHITE PEOPLE! Most of them are pretty okay, because they are just vacationing up here, but there are plenty of rotten ones as well! I've already had an opportunity to talk (it was more like getting yelled at) with Baptist preachers. So I'm going to have a lot of fun with that (YAY BIBLE BASHING)! Other than that, since the ward I am in consists of a decent amount to white people who don't speak Thai, my comp and I have to translate (Elder Hanks has humbly taken most of that burden) but there are times where I have to translate too, and those are always interesting experiences. There are times when I am trying to speak the English translation, that I end up missing something crucial, to which, I just make up something that fits the context. So basically, I'm just preparing a bunch of impromptu talks! I'll find some fun things to do to make it less awkward in the future.

Anyway, I still don't have too many pics (we haven't gone to any cool p-days yet) but I have a few I'm going to send over. And I'm getting a Go-Pro today! It's not one of the higher quality ones it's, I think, a specter 5, but from what I've heard, it still takes great videos! I'm going to make a small catalog of videos that I can use to make a compilation video of my mission! An Elder who finished his mission already made one, and it looks awesome!

I'll send those over in a little bit!

Best of luck on the ride home!

- Elder Latimer!

July 2, 2017

Hey Dad!

Thanks for the early 4th greetings! The lake sounds as good as ever! It seems like it'll be exciting to have Josh and Lettie back up again after their honeymoon! I hope they had a lot of fun, Mexico sounds like a great place, and from what I can see, Josh and Lettie seem really good together!

Chiang Mai is pretty dope! I almost got to see Brother Everton while I was up here. He was up at the church while I was on switch offs in the ZL's house right next to the church, but he left before I finished eating, so I didn't get to see him. It's all good though because Chiang Mai is still pretty cool. We are still working on finding some solid candidates for baptism, but it's a little hard at the moment, since we whitewashed in, but we'll figure it out! We have like one or two people who are potentially there, one of them is sister Nam, who has learned with the sisters before she was given off to us. She seems way solid, we just have to teach her all the lessons and then have her baptized and confirmed! She's way cool though! The only problem is that the member we have pick her up from church has flaked out a couple of times and given us some lame excuses (somehow the fact that it was raining made it super inconvenient for her to pick our investigator up, even though they live super close to each other, and she drives a car with a roof). We'll figure something out though!

I'll check out that talk by Holland! I'm sure it's gonna be great, he's one of my favorite speakers!

Well, I'm all out of things to write about at the moment! I'll try and send some pictures of my recent excursion to the mountains! But until next week wish you the best!

Warm regards

- Elder Latimer

July 9, 2017

Hey Dad, Happy Birthday!

Your 50! Congrats on the milestone what's it like being so close to จบiชีวิต (dying) or just จบชีวิต (death) if you want to look it up on google translate! I'm sorry I wasn't there to see it, but I'm sure it was a lot of fun! And your new guitar sounds sweet! I can't wait to see how well you play it when I get back!

Mom told me all about the reception, and it sounds wonderful! I can't wait to see the pictures! Is Jake coming home for the summer, or is he staying up in Idaho?

I'm glad that You and Mom found a way to implement me into Josh and Lettie’s home life!

The lake sounds as fantastic as ever, and I'm glad that family was able to have a fun time up at the lake! I didn't really have a change to celebrate an American Fourth of July, but I did go out and eat Mexican food with my comp to celebrate the occasion, we also had all of our students participate in an American culture night during English class. I'll send you some videos!

Thank you for sending me the link to that talk! Be sure to send me a copy of yours too! I can't wait to see it!

Things are alright in Chiang Mai at the moment. My comp's the DL, so we always have plenty to keep us busy, but if work becomes too much of a grind, I just play a game called "Maybe they're just friends". The way to play is simple, find a really old white guy, with a really young Thai Girl, and say to yourself, "Maybe they're just friends". There is no shortage of "friends" in Chiang Mai, so I always have plenty to keep my morale up.

Well I wish you and Mom the best!

Happy birthday again, have fun being old!

Warm Regards

- Elder Latimer

July 18, 2017

Hey Dad,

Things in Thailand are great as always, yesterday we taught some monks, a guy who fights roosters, and our recent convert’s baptism. Sorry I don't usually write home about investigators. For my last area and this one we don't really have too many serious investigators. It's not that we don't have people who meet with us and set up a return appointment. The problem is that no one actually meets us on those set days. In Thailand, they have a pretty common thing here which is known as the feeling of "Grayn Jai". It's a bit hard to translate into English but I believe that it could be widdled down to a feeling of guilt or shame.

In Thailand, this feeling is felt mostly when being asked to do something, such as accepting to discuss religion with the missionaries. In the moment, they don't necessarily want to decline, because it will make them feel bad, which leads them to learn with us which is great, and in the moment, it will also lead them the set up a return appointment, which is also great. Unfortunately, the amount of times we have an investigator who actually does show up to a return appointment is pretty small. There are few other major stumbling blocks in Thailand, but I don't want this letter to be too negative, so I'll end this paragraph on a positive note.  We have one Investigator, Sister G, Who seems pretty solid at the moment. She is the wife of one of our RC's Brother Cheen, and she is very willing to learn. For the most part, she is open to learn about all religions and so we just have to help her see why ours is special. It helps to that her husband is already a member. He's been pretty funny about the whole scenario too, and he told us "If she doesn't get baptized, I'll just marry someone else". I couldn't tell if he was joking our not, but still, classic Brother Cheen. 

A day alone at the house sounds pretty swell, I hope it was peaceful and all is well!

Your talk sounds awesome, be sure to send it over if you get the chance. Also you have the original transcript for the BoM? Is there anyway of sending a digital version to me? Don't feel too bad if the youth didn't seem to pay attention, if I have learned anything from serving in Thailand or from being a youth myself, it is that we (or they) hardly listen. 

Glad to hear all is well on the home front, let's hope it stays that way!

Well, to counteract the negativity in the first part of my letter, I feel like I should at least leave off on something positive. The members here in Thailand are awesome.  We have some youth here, who are very willing to help us teach, or help us with other things whether it be finding our way around the area, or even helping us with language. We also have some members who are very helpful when it comes to helping the missionaries with the work. We have one or two in our branch right now who have helped us set up service projects, driven our investigators to church, and have helped us teach. It just shows what a blessing people are who have decided to continue serving the Lord after Baptism.

Well that's about all for this week.

Wish you well

- Elder Latimer

P.S Please let me know if there is a way to send over a digital copy of the BOM! it sounds really interesting!

PSS: Oh yeah and I got hit by a car. Basically I was biking past the exiting turn out of a mall, and a lady pulled out without looking. After being hit, she rolled down her window to see what was up. I told her I was alright and that everything was okay, which she took to mean that she was free of all legal responsibility, so she drove off. Since then, my bike has been totaled, the chain and gears are wrecked, the rim is bent beyond repair but still works. I have some great videos which should illustrate how I have been getting around recently. I may need to get some money for a new bike though. haha. I'm all good though, I wasn't hit super hard, I just suffered a few bruises. I guess there's a reason why stereotypes exist.

July 26, 2017

Hey Dad, what's up!?!

Things haven't changed too much in Chaing Mai, we had one person leave to go AP, but aside from that, everything is the same. We have one investigator is probably going to be baptized this week, Sister G, and she is pretty dope. She is the wife of Brother Cheen, an RC of ours. She hasn't had her interview yet, but I see no major snags that would keep her from getting baptized. 

We have another investigator who is pretty solid except for the fact that she hasn't really had a discussion with the missionaries yet. She has, however, gone to church, our English class, and sports night. We are still going to try and meet with her, so we'll see where that goes!

Sorry for the short letter, but I'm in a rush because my time is about to run out!

Wish you the best

- Elder Latimer

July 30, 2017

Sup Dad! It's all good! We had emailed later than usual because we went to go site see a mountain. We did a lot of cool stuff up there but by the time we came down, p-day was almost over, and I didn't have a lot of emails. Don't worry, I'll send you and mom some videos to make up for it. The reason I haven't been sending a lot, is because the computer cafe here is pretty slow so it's hard to send videos and stuff like that, but as for google drive, I think if you want any of the stuff up there, you might want to download it and store it on the mac, because I'm going to have to delete it soon! My google account is running out of space!

My Investigator Sister G got baptized yesterday, which is awesome! She seems pretty excited and is wayyy solid.  Her husband talked a little bit in our Sunday school class and he said that he had been saving up money for six years so that him and his wife could go to the Hong Kong temple and be sealed after she was baptized. I thought that was super cool.

Glad to hear that everything is going well in the home front. I hope that all goes well at your various camp activities!

I haven't heard much from Jake about Hailey, but I'm glad that they are still going strong. Tell him if he gets married before I come home, I'll kill him. Also from what I've heard, Lettie and Josh are doing fantastic. Lettie actually wrote me today, and told me about a cool spiritual experience that she had last week. It seems that everything is going well for them both.

I'm super excited to approach my year mark. I still don't feel super experienced, but my comp has told me some stuff that I can do better on, so I'm going to try and work more on that this transfer to continue improving!

I'll be sure to remember to write Josh on his birthday, and let me know if there is anything you want from Thailand! A member going to America is bringing some Ties back for You, Josh, Jake, and Tyler, as well as a skirt for mom, those should get to you in a couple weeks! I have more too send, but I didn't want my stuff to take up too much space in his luggage!

As always,

Wish you the best

- Elder Latimer

PS: Here are some pictures from an activity that we had at our investigator Sister Rita's house. We just came to say hi and bounce, but then we met that LA RM so we stayed for a while. It was actually way dope because the white other white guy and him served the same mission together, so they really hit if off! not to mention him and his wife are also really good friends with our investigator. To be honest, I'm not sure how interested she is in religion, I think she comes to church and activities because she's been fellowshiped so hard. Also there was beer there, but it's all good because no one had any. 

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