Monday, November 16, 2009

Trying to finish up the meeting house!

Well, this should be the last of the "meeting house project." Elder Booth was able to help put up the roof:

Next were the walls and it looks like everyone helped with that (after posing for the picture, of course):



Now it looks like a game of basketball is in order...

Subject: Hey Again
Date: May 17, 2009

Hey everybody! I enjoyed talking with everybody on the phone. It was nice. Too bad I won't be able to do that again for a while. Time is going by fast, though. Christmas seems like yesterday when I think about it. Before you know it, I will be able to call whenever I want again. Or at least you can call me since I was never very good at that. Well, even here I'm not very good. Sorry about that. We are just lucky that Chad had that card. I talked to one missionary and he said 100P with this one company was 30 minutes. So I went and bought those kind. Then I tried to use them and found out the owner of our apartment used a different company. I guess that matters here. I had no idea. She had some cards, but I guess with the other company 100P is only like five minutes. Oh well - live and learn I guess.

Well, like I said on the phone, everything is going pretty well here. We have a baptism planned for this Saturday, so you will know if that works out in a couple of months since I really don't know when you will actually get the letter I now have to write. I don't know if they will be as long, either. The whole letter writing thing kind of takes forever. So I will do my best to shop really fast and get home so I can start writing. Everything should be good with the baptism, though. They are really good kids that have the desire. The work is really good here, though. We actually should have some baptisms for the next three weeks. All they really have to do is keep coming to church and they are set. That is still the biggest problem here in the Philippines. There are a crazy amount of inactive people. It really does not take much for them to stop coming. They get offended easily.

Sunday morning did kind of stink, though. We went to try and pick up some kids that we were hoping to baptize the first week of June, and ended up getting into an argument with their grandmother. She is pretty set in her ways and really does not want her grandchildren to get baptized. So that really was not the best start of the day. To make up for it though, when we finally arrived at church I was taken aback when I saw one of our investigators there that we have been teaching for about four months. He just decided to get over being shy and go to church. I really could not stop smiling when I saw that guy. I really hope he keeps coming. He is great. That is about it when it comes to our investigators.

I do have one funny story for you. I don't know if you remember, but a long time ago I told you all about this time we crashed a funeral. Well, I ended up talking to one of the girls who was actually at the funeral. She was very nice and invited us back. So of course we set up a time and went back a couple of days later. When we got there I made the mistake of mentioning the old guy that we talked to last time. She said: "Oh my grandpa is the guy that debated with you last time. Just wait here and I will go and get him for you." So we spent the next thirty minutes having to listen to this old guy yell at us about his "true church". My companion was getting kind of fired up. I was just having a hard time not laughing in his face. I don't know, there is just something about a really old man yelling in my face that is funny. Especially when he spends the little energy he has to stand and do it. Well, he actually started to warm up to us a little bit and decided we should all sing. So he asked us if our church had music. Of course we said yes. He then proceeded to get his guitar. Then after he got his guitar he told us to start to sing. We sang "I am a child of God" while he tried to make up music on the spot. Yea. That was just funny. He was dissapointed when we cut it short wtih just one verse. To be honest so was I. It was funny to watch him try and follow along. He did better than I would have, at least. I don't know if we will ever go back there again. Well you never know. I said we would never go back after the first time.

That is about all I have for funny stories. I hope all of you continue to do well. Keep up your faith and stay strong in the church. I love you all and can't wait to get all of your letters in about a month. Thanks for the support and love you all have shown me.

Elder Booth

Spending time with the neighbors...

These pictures come from another Family Home Evening. This time, it was with a family that lives below them and actually own the apartment. They are the Flours. (While Elder Booth did put the name of the family in his letter, I'm not quite sure, because of his handwriting, if I'm getting it right. If not, then I guess he can correct it later...) Here's what Elder Booth had to say about them: "They are awesome. They always give us food." Anytime someone is giving a missionary food, I'm sure they are "awesome."

It looks like this FHE included the other companionship that lives with Elder Booth and Elder Martanito. They are Elder Hopper and Elder Estava (I think). Here are some pictures of them with the family:





It's so nice to know that there are families over in the Philippines taking care of Elder Booth! I hope they know how much we, as his family, appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Family Home Evening...

In May, Elder Booth had the opportunity to visti with a less active family in his area. Unfortunately, he didn't leave a name for them. It looks like the family definitely knows how to take care of the missionaries, though!

Here are some pictures of Elder Booth and his companion, Elder Martanito, with the family:

This is a picture of just Elder Martanito with the family:


It looks like the missionaries are well taken care
of as far as having lots of good food around!


Here they are getting the food ready to eat:


This last shot is one of Elder Martanito, Elder Booth's companion,
with one of the kids from the family. What a cute kid!


Here is another email update from Elder Booth:


Subject: Happy Mothers Day
Date: May 10, 2009 8:39:18 PM PDT

Hey how is everybody? I'll start off by saying sorry for not calling today. It's Mother's Day and it probably would have been best to call on the exact day, but yea, it just did not happen. You would think the mission would make me better at planning things out. It's alright. I will just call next week instead. I am already excited to talk to you all.

Things here are still going pretty well. They are just moving on like they usually do. Me and my new companion are getting along great and he is catching up to me fast when it comes to the area, which is really nice. The investigators and members seem to like him just fine so there aren't any problems there. I have been pretty lucky when it comes to companions. The apartment is still a little different, but I am getting used to it. I guess life is all about change, though. The other two elders turned out to be pretty nice. Even if they weren't, dad told me to stop crabbing and gossiping. Sorry. I will try not to do that again. You can't be to hard on me though. When you grow up in Moapa Valley, gossiping is in your blood. I guess it is a hard habit to break.

The area right now is actually doing really well. We have seven investigators right now with baptismal dates and right now they all look like they will go through as long as we do our part and keep going by the spirit. Two are actually the cousins of the two girls that I baptized a while ago. They are always there for the lessons and are great fellow shippers. They bring them to church every week and are helping with the small shy problem each one has. The other is a girl who is really good friends with the daughter of the ward mission leader. She actually lives there right now, which makes the fellowship thing pretty easy for us. Sorry if I said all of this last week, but I really can't remember that far back. I think I did tell you about our fun adventure last week trying to pick all the kids up for church. I am very very happy to say that we did not have to this week because they all came on their own. It was really funny too because I sat by them in church and kept having to tell them to be quiet because they kept wanting to talk about their baptism on the 30th. To be honest, it was kind of hard to tell them to be quiet when that was what they were talking about.

I did have a scary moment though with them. One of the kids that comes with them is only six. After sacrament he decided that he was a little too tired to go to church anymore so he started to leave. Since the others wanted to stay, nobody was going to go with him so he just started to go on his own. I ended up chasing him down the street and then about had a heart attack when he ran out in the road. Luckily there were no cars right then. I really don't know what I would have done if there would have been a car there. After that I just let him go. I figured that would be safer than me chasing him into the street. He actually ended up coming back and just sitting in the front waiting for the rest to finish. That's about all when it comes to the investigators right now.

I don't know if i told you this yet. When Elder Erickson was here he really worked and got an inactive RM to return to church. The bad thing is she has not been back ever since he left. I just heard that she has been baptized into the catholic church. That was a little shocking. To make it even more shocking, she just said that she wants her son that just turned eight to be baptized as a Latter Day Saint. I don't know what is going on, but I do love the kids so I hope that the one will be able to be baptized.

Let's see. I have three kind of funny stories. The first one actually happened last Monday at the mall. I was buying something at the book store when this older guy started talking to me. He was asking all kinds of questions about where I was going to find a wife at here it the Philippines. At the end of that fun conversation I tried to share a little bit about the church with him since he seemed pretty curious. He actually turned out to be a priest that shared more with me. He first asked me where I was going after I died, so I told him. Then all he did was ask over and over again if I was sure or not. He ended up giving me a little book about it called this could be your last five minutes. I told him that I would read it as long as he read the one that I gave him about the true plan of salvation. Who knows, maybe he will read it and we will have a very strong bishop in the church.

The next one is when we saw that one guy again that yelled at me about Jesus. This time was a little awkward since he decided that we needed to close our eyes and bow our heads so he could say a prayer for us all. I didn't know whether I should do that or just watch him. Either way, I could not help laughing this time. It was alright though, because he had his eyes closed so he did not see me.

The third one was the most embarrassing for me. We were teaching this really old lady about repentance, and I was the one teaching. I tried to tell her that in order to repent, we first need to actually stop doing the sin. Instead, I told her that in order to repent we all need to first fart. I guess the words for those are pretty close to each other. The people with me really could not help but all laugh out loud. I was confused, to say the least. At least now I have the word for stop and fart down. I think this one was worse than the time I told the lady she was really good at having kids instead of raising kids. That one was also a little awkward. Just another of the unforgettable moments.

Well I love you all. Again, I am excited to call. Since nobody has told me anything since I talked to mom yesterday, I will be calling here on Monday morning. So it should be around 2 to 3 pm there on Sunday. If you want to make sure, you can look it up. It will be around six am here Monday morning. Again, I love you all. Keep up the work in the church and remember to pray and study the scriptures each day. It's hard for me sometimes to tell the investigators to do that when I remember all the times that I didn't do it. Thanks for the support and the church is true.

Elder Booth

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another CSP on the Meeting House...

Back in January, Elder Booth was able to work on a Meeting House in the other area. This, four months later, is a continuation of the work on the Meeting House. It looks like they are making progress!

Here they are starting to frame the roof:



What's next??


Hello Elder Booth!


Watch out! Elder Martanito has a saw!!


A member hammering away...



Another member hammering some nails in:



It looks like the food is starting to cook! Yum!


I guess they have to remove some plants from the area. We definitely
don't have that problem here in Nevada! We have to bring them in!


Elder Eslava and Elder Martanito resting after all of the hard work.
Good job guys!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ward Activity Time!!

These are the videos and pictures that Elder Booth mentioned in the last letter that was in the last post. It's of a ward activity he went to. I have to admit that when I first watched these videos, I thought that having a ward party in the Philippines is a little bit different than having a ward party in America. Then I remembered some our lip sync contests and other fun activities and realized that they aren't different at all. It's just a ward getting together and having a great time fellow shipping and getting to know each other (maybe a little too well).

While I can't put all of the videos on the blog, I will try to put a few clips so you can get an idea of what a ward party in the Philippines is like. I guess there is one major difference. Unfortunately they don't have a big gymnasium for these activities. This is where they also meet on Sunday.

The first video is the women doing tug of war (notice the last minute help!) and the second video is the men:


video video


They also did some fun "skits." The first one is the men. I called a skit because I'm not exactly sure what else to call it...

video


There is another "skit" that the girls did, but for some reason it will not upload. I will try to put it into a different post to see if it will work.

The last game they played was a relay. Each team had to have one person get dressed up and run across the floor and back. Then they shed the clothes and the next person on the team took their turn. As you can see from the pictures below, some enjoyed dressing up more than others... Unfortunately, the video was way too long to upload, but here are some pictures of one of the relay team members:


Monday, October 26, 2009

Elder Booth is leaving our area??!!

So somewhere along the way, Elder Booth heard that he would probably be transferred in the next transfer. So he set up some FHE's and tried to go around and visit anyone he could to say goodbye and give some last minute advice. As you will read in the letter below, things did not go as he had anticipated and he ended up having a lot more time to say his goodbyes...

These pictures are of a Family Home Evening with one of the families Elder Booth wanted to say goodbye to:




This is Elder Booth saying goodbye to the good people who used to feed him, along with his companion, almost every Sunday. I guess he'll get a few more meals with them:



These are some invetigators that Elder Booth had for a little while. He had to stop coming after their grandma told them not to come back.


Left to right: Melody, John John,Elder Booth, Gary, Dexter, Elder
This next picture is one of Elder Booth's Zone eating at "21." It is a nice restaurant that "was very tasty," according to Elder Booth:

Here is the letter explaining all of the "happenings" of the transfer that didn't happen...


Date: May 3, 2009 8:56:09 PM PDT
Subject: Amogihapon

Yea, the subject means it's all the same. Transfer meetings on Tuesday were kind of a surprise. When they called me, they asked me what I thought would be happening to me. I said with a big smile that I would probably be transferring. Then I found myself sitting right back down with the smile wiped clean after hearing that I would be staying for at least another transfer. Oh, and the other elders that I live with would be getting white washed, which means I now live with three new people. Me and my companion really did not expect that since we had been preparing for me to leave. I already had had two family home evenings where I gave my little farewell speech and final advice. I guess they had to make last minute changes because some elder got sent home before he could leave the MTC. It's a good thing that I like my area or I think I would go crazy.

I am really getting close to the members here. This is really becoming my homeward. They were pretty shocked to here that I would be staying though, since we had pretty much told everybody that I would be the one to leave. I even signed all the Book of remberances and stuff. Oh yea, that is one thing they do here in the Philippines. Everybody had a little book/yearbook type thing. When they give it to you to sign, you just take a page and do whatever you want to like draw or just put a picture of yourself. Some of them are really cool. I just wish I could draw, or even write. I am going to be known for having the crappiest ones. Oh well. I really don't like doing them anyway. I actually hope the word will spread.

Well anyway, my new companion is really nice. His name is Elder Martanito. (Don't ask me if that is how you spell it. Just be glad that I actually remembered it). He is the exact opposite of my last companion when it comes to size. He is about the height of Ulma and might be even smaller. He is cool though. (See pictures below!) I don't know how I feel about the other two elders living with me. One is named Elder Hopper who is an American from some where over there. He is training a filipino from Manilla, I think. I can't remember his name, but he is pretty nice. Elder Hopper is just kind of not my type. I don't think I would have spent all that much time with him before the mission. Oh well. Just preparing to get another crappy roommate in college, I guess. I can't complain too much. He really isn't all that bad.

The hardest thing about this whole thing is having to lead. I am acting as the senior companion right now since he really does not know the area at all and I have been here my whole mission so I can at least tell him where to go. I am a little stressed though, because we are supposed to get 6 baptisms this month and I will feel like a failure if I don't get them all. I guess I will just have to put my trust in the lord and hope I am worthy for him to work through me because I don't think I can do it on my own. They should all work out though, as long as they all come to church.

We actually got up bright and early yesterday to go and get some kids. After waiting for them to all get ready and stuff, we ended up leaving the little area with four of them tagging along. All of their parents are members; they just don't come to church. I don't know if they ever will, either. I will just have to have faith that the spirit can change anybody's mind. The kids are a blast though. They are really good at reading and are really smart with the lessons. They made church fun too. Since all we had were kids there for investigators, we just sent them to Primary and decided to just go with them. I don't know if the teacher liked me there, but I had fun. The kids all decided to spend most of the time hanging on me and throwing stuff at me. I felt bad but I will just use the excuse that I was trying to get closer to the investigators. It actually worked well though. We were all pretty good friends by the end of the block. I just hope they will all come next week on their own. They all really want to be baptized. Now they just need to realize what they need to do first.

We actually have another investigator that just turned eight. She has been coming to church for a while so we thought it would be a piece of cake. We were actually just waiting for her to turn eight. However, we actually found a road block. She is really really shy. She will barely look at us during the lessons, let alone answer us. We kind of thought that would make the baptisimal interview kind of hard. We are actually playing games to get over that. The rest of our investigators are doing alright. They just have a couple of things in the way. Usually going to church is the biggest hurdle, though.

My kind of funny story took place on Saturday. It started while we were teaching one investigator kind of way out yonder. It started to really pour as in really, really pour. So we ran out and jumped on a motor(trike thing) and headed out on the high way. We were driving through mini rivers, but I was still not too wet. Then this stupid jeep decides to be funny and get the stupid white boy. He drove up right next to us and just completely drenched me. I came pretty close to swearing, but instead just shook my fist at him a lot.

We finally arrived at the church where there was an activity. They were playing games in the church. Here the cultural hall and the chapel are the same thing. They just have all chairs and no benches. So I got to watch them put on a fashion show in the chapel. It was not a normal one though. Instead of girls, it was boys in girl's clothing acting gay. I felt bad laughing at this in the chapel, but I was sitting next to the Bishop who was laughing a lot harder than I was. They borrowed my camera for it though, so I got most of it on video so you can see some of the activities here in the Philippines. Well, that's all I have to say about that.

I love you all and can't wait to talk to you on Mother's Day. Well, actually about that. They told us that it could take place any time in the month of May. What will probably happen is I will just have you call me here at my apartment. I would use those cards but I can't figure out how to use them here. Maybe I will try and if it does not work you can just call me. So yea. Just tell me when the best time is and everything. I will get the number to mom and stuff, but hopefully I will be able to figure out that card. Thanks for the support. Keep on trucking and have fun. I guess I don't have to say that since it sounds like you had a fun week as a family.

Elder Booth

Here are some pictures of Elder Booth with his new companion and the new companionship that will be sharing the apartment with him:

From left to right: Elder Booth, Elder Martanito, Elder Hopper, Elder Eslava

These next three pictures are Elder Booth with his new companion, Elder Martanito:

Elder Booth is looking extra tall in this picture!

Elder Booth thinks this picture is funny!

This picture doesn't have them looking so different in height!

Good Luck with your new companion, Elder Booth!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Baptism!!

Elder Booth was able to participate in another wonderful baptism. This time he was able to perform the baptism and had a great experience.

Here is the one getting baptized:

His name is Jonald Belanda. (He's the third one over from the right, on the back row.
The little girl in front is from the other area in the ward).

Here are some of the other members of the ward and the families.

This is the letter Elder Booth sent right after the baptism. He talks about it and explains the details of the event:

Date: April 26, 2009 8:27:10 PM PDT
Subject: Got a dunk again

Hey Everybody! I'm glad that everybody is still doing well. I am not a fan of getting bad news on P-days, so that is good. Just keep that up. Plus, I hope things like the economy are getting better, even though I doubt it. Oh well, just keep on going, I guess. There really is not anything else we can do.

Everything here is peachy. We get transfer announcements tomorrow, but my source in the mission office told me that I would be transferring. Not only transferring, but going to the smallest island in the mission. It is called Gimeras. There are only four small areas on the island, so Zone Meetings are going to be the same as District Meetings, since it the zone and the district are the same thing. I guess that is not sure though, because they change things a lot in the last second. I will know for sure tomorrow morning. I have already started doing the whole good bye thing, though. We have a ton of dinner appointments this week. Actually, we had one last night. That was cool. It is always fun to eat. My companion wanted to try and beat my last record of three dinner appointments in one night, but I told him I about died that time and beating it would just suck. I still remember the ward missionary with us saying that his worm was even telling him, no, he can't take anymore. I laughed really hard about that one. This is a really good ward and will be hard to leave. I hope I had a good enough impact where they remember me a little. It's always good to be remembered.

This was a very good week. We were able to make up for the last couple of weeks with the teachings. People actually decided to be there when they said they would be. The baptism was amazing. Well, I guess they always are, but I never get sick of them, that is for sure. The program was really good. We had two good speakers and then me, my companion, and two others gave a musical number. We were going to do it in Tagalog, but I forgot to bring my hymn book. I was bummed because I like singing in Tagalog. I miss it from the MTC. Most Filipinos are kind of tone deaf, but I think we sounded alright. Then I got to do the baptism, which is always a treat. It was really cool after the baptism. He walked into the bathroom, put his hands up, and said: "Cool. I'm a member now." He was really excited, which made me pretty darn happy. Then his testimony at the end was very strong. The next day at church was pretty crazy, though. He came like three minutes late so they decided not to do the confirmation. Then after the meeting the bishop said that he would be going to Murcia to do it. That is another area that just has some groups, but is still in our ward. They come to our church every first Sunday. So they made him go to two churches, one being pretty far away. I was pretty bummed because we were not there to watch. Oh, and plus we found out that they gave him the priesthood right after. So I don't know who made that decision, but it is kind of against the rules. Oh well. You just have to support your leaders, right? My comp was freaking out a little bit. That is never fun because he usually tries to take it out on me. It seems like I do quite a bit to not punch him in the face sometimes. I think the mission is just one big anger management class sometimes. Oh well, as long as it is for the Lord.

The rest of my investigators are well. We finally got some to come to church. I was so happy to see them. It is a part member family where the member is their uncle. One is ten and the other is twelve. The ten year old really wants to be baptized, but the 12 year old will be a little harder. They did have a good time at church, though. I love it when the investigator class is full. I am really going to miss the investigators here and I hope I will be able to check up on them and find out what happens to them all. I hope my comp will continue the work there for them all.

I did have one really funny experience. We were on our way to an investigators class when this old guy yelled good afternoon to us. So of course we went over to talk to him. He seemed really nice at first. Then my companion asked if he had talked to the missionaries before. He said that he had. Then my companion made the mistake of asking him how that went. This is when he started to freak out on us. He stood up and while looking right at me started shouting that Jesus was the son of God. That was cool and all, but he started saying how He resided in him or something. Just remember, he isn't just saying this, he is pretty much screaming it at me. I had the hardest time in the world keeping a strait face. I about lost it so many times. I'm pretty sure I at least had a smirk on my face. So we eventually just walked off and he started shouting after us that we were all friends. So ya, that is my funny experience. I don't know if that is that funny. Maybe it is one of those "you had to be there" things.

Well, that is all I have to say about that. I hope every thing stays good at home. I love you all. Keep up the hard work and remember the church is true.

Love Elder Booth

Elder Who?

In this post, we have some pictures of some of the Elders that Elder Booth is serving with. Here is a picture of Elder Lising , Elder Hamblin's companion, playing with a fake snake. He looks like he's not totally convinced that it's fake...


Here is Elder Lucas dodging the light saber:

This is one of Elder Lucas in a remote area that he and Elder Booth were in:


Here is a letter from Elder Booth:

Date: April 19, 2009 11:23:22 PM PDT
Subject: Grabe Damo kabalaka nah jokes long

Hey everybody. It sounds like everybody is still having a great time back in the US of A. It's too bad I could not have been there to see all those races in St. George. That sounded really fun. Plus, the cherry on top is Michele kicking Ryan's trash. No, just kidding. I'm sure there is a very good excuse for that.

Everything here is still really good. I'm getting kind of nervous because transfers are getting closer and closer. I am just worried something crazy will happen like going senior and getting a new language at the same time. That really is not on my list of things to experience right now. I doubt that will happen, though. I guess it will be really nice seeing new things and seeing new people instead of the same old stuff all the time. I do love this area, though. I am going to miss a lot of the members here. I will have to write them through pouch mail.

Nothing all that exciting has happened this week. It was a lot of the same thing, actually. We did have Stake Conference though, which was cool. It was a live studio broadcast. The two main speakers were Holland and Eyering. They are two of my favorites, so I was pretty excited. They had really good talks that were directed just to the Philippines. I think it hit home to a lot of them. The main subject was families, though. Man, I guess they really are important. I guess if the family truly fails in the end, then we will all fail in the end. So keep up the love and unity.

Our investigators are doing great. We did have an incident where the one that is supposed to get baptized on Saturday decided to skip town for a couple of days. I guess his actual family lives in another town. I really didn't think it was a big deal, but my comp was kind of freaking out. The second night he did not show up our nightly planning kind of just consisted of him sitting there trying to think of what could have happened, and me just sitting there playing with a rubber band. I don't know, maybe I should have worried more, but it just seemed like no biggy. He did finally come back though, which made my comp almost jump for joy. Actually, now that I think about it, he might have. So the baptism is still on as scheduled. He is a way cool guy I am really excited for him.

Oh, and we finally had one other come to church. Our investigator to be baptized brought him. I really don't know him though becuase he only knows tagalog and that is not my stong point right now. I try to teach him in it and I look like a fool. Oh well. That is just the name of the game. I just wish that I could remember all the stuff from the MTC. I think I have forgotten everthing I learnded there when it comes to language. However, if I did not learn tagalog in the MTC, then I would not have been able to learn Inlango at all. So the lord really blessed me with that one.

Oh, we did get a golden investigator that has actually worked with us a couple of times. Her friend is a ward missionary that she will come with. She was really shy at first, but we found out that she actually has quite the personality. She is really fun and will be a great addition to the church. I probably won't be here to see it through, so that is kind of sad. Oh well. That is just how it is here. Sometimes you plant, and sometimes you harvest. Either way, it is the Lord's work.

Man, I can't really think of anything too funny happening to me. We did teach at that lady's house that just starts crying sometimes. We taught a bunch of little kids. It was kind of weird when she would be introducing herself and then just bust out in tears. I felt really bad for her because the kids would just start laughing. She did, however, laugh by the end of the lesson, so that was good. I just wish she had some help from her husband to go to church.

Oh and remember Elder Hamblin? He's the elder from Arizona that I live with. I guess he got to dress a dead guy. He told me that was quite the thing to do. I dont know if I really want to experience that one or not. I'm not a huge fan of the whole "dead body" thing. I already have a hard enough time seeing them at the funerals (I think they look weird enough here), let alone go and put some clothes on them. I guess they just had to put his garments on and stuff. Sounds fun.

Oh, we had our zone activity today. We had a sports fest. It was really cool. We played some soccer, bump out, and dodge ball. I did pretty well. I was undefeated in bump out and dodge ball. I even made a goal in soccer, which is good since I am no good at it. Well, sorry this email does not have too many cool stories. I will try to experience cooler things this week. Oh, and I should be telling you about a baptism as well. Well, I love you all. Keep the faith and remember the church was true then, it is true now, and it will be true forever. (Some of my favorite words from Holland).

Love
Elder Booth

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Above Ground Graveyard

This post is all of an email from Elder Booth. This time, the pictures are incorporated into Elder Booth's email...


Date: April 12, 2009 8:08:12 PM PDT
Subject: Happy!! Easter!!

Hey everybody. I hope this email finds you having a very good and Happy Easter. Sorry again for not getting a very good email last week. If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure I was more angry than you. It's all good though - I will just try and make this one that much cooler.

Well, this week was pretty interesting. They kind of celebrate Easter a little differently than we do. Actually, it really isn't Easter Sunday as it is Easter week. They actually call it Holy Week. My companion was explaining some of the things and it is kind of crazy. It doesn't really start getting wierd until Good Friday. Everything is closed and they are all watching some priest guy on the TV and radio. I have no idea what he was going on about. I really didn't care, though. Well I guess they have to watch it since nothing else is on. It's kind of like when you don't have satellite and the only thing on is the presidential debate. That was always a bummer. That always meant I had to get up and actually do something. Watching was never really an option. It's pretty much the same here. All of the kids were out playing more than usual because they had nothing to watch and all of the parents were inside trying to listen. It actually hindered the work quite a bit. We kept getting punted by people who wanted to watch the other people teach. There were a lot of people curious as to why we really did not celebrate the week thing. We just told them that we try and remember the Atonement every week and not just once a year. I don't know if they liked that too much, but I guess the truth hurts. Just ask Laman and Lemuel. they will tell you all about it. So ya, that was pretty weird. Then at night it got even weirder. A bunch of people all get in this funeral procession (sorry can't spell) type thing and march down the streets while carrying big statues of saints and Christ. The most disturbing one was at the end. they had a big class coffin thing with Jesus inside. It would not have been bad, but he was all bloody and stuff. One of the elders called it the black parade. That was a new experience for me. I guess it could have been worse though, because in other places they actually crucify people in remembrance. My trainer was telling me of this guy in his old area who had permanent holes in his hands from getting crucified every year. That would be a little creepy to see.

Saturday and Sunday were still pretty normal except everybody was still gone and punted us. Oh, and I guess they say you are not supposed to do anything on Saturday because if you get cut or hurt in anyway it will never heal right or something like that. I'm good, I think. I couldn't find any cuts at the end of the day.

Well, our investigators are doing about the same. Sister Mary Ann did have the baby and her name is Jade. She is really cute, plus I like the name a lot. That's a good one for a girl. There are still a lot of problems with the marriage, so I don't know if I will be here to see how that works out. Actually, I am pretty sure I won't be. Sister Amy still has not received her answer. I am beginning to worry, but we just have to have faith and hope that she has faith as well.

Jonard is still very strong. I love teaching him because he is very spiritual and fun. It is a sure thing he will be baptized on the 29th. Our president was a little disappointed we only had one for the month of April, but I think it is alright. He cares about the numbers a little more than I do. He actually cares about them a little more than a lot of people do. Ya, all the rest are pretty much the same. We did have one the said she would not be joining our church but it was alright if we kept coming back to teach. So we will probably have drop her. I guess it just is not her time.

The other culture thing that was cool this week was a funeral. It was a fairly prominent person in the ward that died, so the funeral was a big deal. First, we went to the viewing, which was cool. My companion got volunteered to give a talk right there on the spot. I felt kind of bad for him until I found out that I would be the one dedicating the grave the next day. So I was pretty nervous the whole next day. We were very involved. We helped carry the coffin and everything. It turns out though, that right when I was expecting to hear my name being announced, they said that the previous bishop would do it. I was kind of relieved, but I will admit that it would have been kind of cool to do. The graveyards are kind of cool. They do the whole stacking thing. There are just a bunch of cement boxes. So that was cool.

(Here are a few pictures of it. Elder Booth did feel a little creepy taking them)...



We actually got to watch general conference this Saturday and Easter Sunday. I have now watched every single session, including the priesthood session without falling asleep. I even took about five pages of notes. I would recommend that, actually. You get a lot more out of it. It was an amazing conference. It was truly a spiritual experience. I did notice they talked a lot about the hard times going on right now. When they were fully justified in just saying I told you so, they actually gave words of encouragement. Be happy and everything will be alright, as long as you are on the Lord's side. I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland. He really opened my eyes on the pains of the Lord Jesus Christ. That was amazing. So I encourage all of you as well to keep an upbeat attitude. If you have faith then you will not fear. I love you all and hope you will continue in the work of the lord. Thanks for your amazing love and support.

Elder Booth

Here they are leaving the graveyard:

This is another surrounding area: