I'm very new to M2 and its themes, and I do not know XML very well at all (I know what it is, but have never had to use it directly).
However, I have a page that I want to learn to format into 2 or 3 columns, each column with different data (address/map, FAQ, and a contact us form)
I have all 3 items separately right now, but I want to combine them.
I'm also hoping to learn how to create a Category landing page for each of my main categories (the theme that I have does not come with them natively, sadly).
Is there a good tutorial on how to use the "Layout Update XML" for M2? Hopefully written for idiots like me.
Any help/pointers is appreciated!
You asked a very good question. There is one section in the official Magento 2 developer documentation that will teach you about layout XML in Magento 2:
I hope that helps.