Saturday, May 16, 2009

Goodbye Provo and everyone at the MTC! (12/23/08)

Everyone is coming out of the MTC, loading up their stuff, and saying goodbye to some really good friends they've made the last few months. I'm sure they're all a little nervous, anxious, and also a little sad to be saying goodbye...

Elder Wade doesn't look nervous or anxious or sad...

This Elder does... (just a little)

Here's Elder Booth with Elder Potter, for the last time. He was Elder Booth's District Leader in the MTC. Good luck guys!

Here's one more shot of some of the other Elders and Sisters leaving with Elder Booth:

Elder Booth is going to miss this weather when he gets to the Philippines. He'll definitely have a different kind of Christmas! This was the last snow he'll see for the next few years...

Good luck in the Philippines Elder Booth! We love and miss you! The next post will be from the Philippines!

Getting ready to leave the MTC... (12/23/08)

Elder Booth is getting ready to leave the MTC and head out to the Philippines. Below is his last letter, dated 12/22/08 and then there is a video with some last words he had before leaving.

Date: December 22, 2008 10:25:44 AM PST

"Hey, how is everybody doing? I am great right now because I just got done packing and it is snowing unbelievably hard. I love the snow. I'm glad I got to see one more good snow storm before I left, even if it wasn't in Vegas.

Things have been really good here in the MTC. I am having a lot of fun getting all of the Christmas cards and packages. Michele is very right: I am very very spoiled and I love it. I had fun reading dad's Christmas letter. My district got a pretty big kick out of the first part. Just so you know it is not a requirement to send all of the letters I do. I just want to send as many as I can before I go, because I probably won't once I am there. So I hope you enjoyed them while they lasted. Once I am there I will not have as much time as I do here.

I sent mom all of my flight plans so I hope she told everybody. I predict I will either be calling from LAX or Taiwan. I don't really know yet. I am the travel leader so I will be pretty stressed out making sure everything is going right. I know I probably won't need to be stressed, but that is just how I am and I might as well get used to it. It turns out that being OCD actually really helps in keeping most of the missionary rules. It's too bad all of us aren't OCD.

This last week has been kind of crazy. Everybody has been getting ready to leave, so it has been hard to study with all of the excitement. Actually, all of my district accept for three of us have already left. Most of them were really close friends. Well, all of them, but some more than others. I don't want to sound like I didn't like them all. Anyway, it was pretty hard for me to watch them leave us behind. It's alright though because these last couple of days have been really quiet.

I think the high light of my week though is when I talked to a young man in the RC (referral center). It was a live chat and I actually talked to him for about two hours. He was investigating the church because of his girl friend and did not want to jump into something unless he knew for a certainty that is was true. He was very smart and had a lot of deep doctrinal questions about the pearl of great price being false. I was only able to give him some sources to go to because I don't really know much about the topic myself. I did, however, tell him the story of how I came to know of the truth and gave him a commitment to try the same thing. We have each other's email, so I hope it goes well. (Well, he doesn't have this email because that would be against the rules, but they give us another one for such situations).

Nothing else that was too exciting really happened. It was hard to say goodbye to my teachers because I have grown to really respect and love them. One actually committed me to look him up after I got home so I could give him a report of my mission. They taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. I'm glad they were worthy so the spirit could work through them and teach us.

I hope the holidays are going very good for everybody. This has always been my favorite part of the year. It's going to be quite an experience to spend Christmas in the Philippines. We actually lose a day so I won't even have a Christmas Eve. That is a little weird to think about. Oh. and I will try to make a small video today. I don't have much time so it will probably be short and won't be very personal. You will, however, get over it I'm sure.

I really hope that me not writing back as much will not discourage you from writing me. I absolutely love every letter that I get. It brightens my day.

The devotional last night was great. We received a good message about the importance of a change of heart. I really hope that I have the power to change somebody over in the Philippines. I am truly excited to go and do the Lord's work.

Well, I better get going. The next one of these you will be getting will be coming from the field. Oh, and I will send the pouch address to mom and dad if they don't have it and all the rules that apply in case you wanted to write instead of email. Well, Mahal ko Kayo and have a great Christmas. Don't worry about me. There is no place I would rather be than here serving the Lord."

Elder Booth

Last Zone Conference before the "Big Day" (departure)... (12/21/08)

This is the next day (12/21/08) at another Zone Conference. The first shot is everyone together from the Zone. (Elder Booth is on the back row on the left side of the picture):

Later (or maybe earlier), Elder Booth got some shots with his companion and another Elder. Here is Elder Booth and Elder Headman, posing for the camera:

Now Elder Booth, Elder Headman, and Elder Wade are taking shots of themselves:
(Yes, it makes for some interesting shots...)

This is close to Elder Booth's last time with some of these guys! It's off to the Philippines in a few days!

A beautiful snowy day and the last pic of my District

Provo was draped in a new layer of snow! What a beautiful sight! Too bad Elder Booth could only "look" and not "touch" a little bit. It's still nice to see it. Here are a few pictures:

Here's an update from Elder Booth:
Date: December 15, 2008 9:56:51 AM PST

"Hey everyone. I hope the holidays are going great for you so far. I am sorry to say that I have still not yet received my flight plans. We were supposed to get them on Friday but were disappointed with an empty mail box. So it looks like I will be here for Christmas. Its alright though, as I just look at it as an opportunity to further prepare myself for the field. If I am still in the MTC for Christmas I won't be able to call, so don't sit around the phone waiting for me. However if I do leave on the twenty third like I am supposed to I might be able to call at the airport for Christmas. I guess I will have my fingers crossed.

Things are still going well here at the training center. It finally snowed yesterday and it is great. I would love it if it snowed every day until I leave. It makes it beautiful here.

Last week was actually really fun when it came to my teaching appointment. Our teacher decided to give us a change and set us up on companion exchanges. I was paired up with and elder named Elder Chacon. He is from California and used to be a cage fighter. So maybe you will one day see him fight on pay per view Ryan. I think that is his goal at least. It was really fun getting to know him and stealing ideas on how to better my studies. It was definitely harder to teach the second lesson in Tagalog then the first lesson. It was fun though. We went in with a really good game plan and worked really well together. We received really good reviews from our teacher. The only thing he said we really needed to work on was smiling more and being more excited. I know, weird - right? Who would think I would not be excited enough? I guess it's really hard to smile when you are cringing from thinking to hard. I guess i will just have to master the language better so I don't have this little set back next time.

Class has been really good lately because the teachers are really preparing us to leave. They bring the spirit stronger than ever and I love it. I hope they continue this so I can really learn. The last fireside we had was really good. They invited the BYU mens choir to come and sing for us. It was a great experience. There are very few things that can bring the spirit as well as music. It kind of made me want to join the choir. Maybe you will see me at an SUU concert when I get back. I wouldn't count on it though.

Oh and we found out that we get to go in the real world. At least my companion and I. I guess he has to go renew his insurance with the military. We get to go on Tuesday. It should be fun except for the missing class part. I guess I will just have to study hard in the car. Well, that's pretty much it here. I hope you all got my letters and I am looking forward to hearing from everybody. Merry Christmas and I love you all very much.

Elder Booth"

Here are a few pictures of Elder Booth's district before leaving in a few days:

Adam Paul in the MTC?! (12/9/08)

It's always nice to see people you know, especially in a place where that rarely happens. On what looks like December 9th (good day, by the way), Elder Booth found Elder Paul (Adam, that is). Elder Paul was on crutches because of surgery. Now I think Randy's pretty tall, but Adam still has him by a good 4 inches.

Now together, and in a few weeks, an ocean apart. One in the Philippines and one in Mexico.

It's always fun to see a familiar face! See you in a few years!

MTC Zone Conference... (11/30/08)

I'm back! I'll get caught up on these soon enough, one of these days. I do want to make it out of the MTC and onto the Philippines (and out of 2008, for crying out loud)!

This is one of the last Zone (I think) conferences Elder Booth had. As you read in the letter, a lot of these guys are heading out, leaving Elder Booth's District as the oldest one. You're next, guys! Good luck out there!

Here's a letter written the day after the pictures:

Date: December 1, 2008 9:44:31 AM PST

"Hello everyone. I hope everybody had a great thanksgiving, and I hope you missed me dearly and wished I were there. I'll just assume you did. That makes me feel a little better inside. My Thanksgiving went well, like I said in the letter they let me write on Thanksgiving. Actually now that I think about it, I pretty much wrote most of the cool stuff in that letter, so I'm sorry if I repeat some of the stuff I wrote in there.

I will start off by saying thank you very very very much for that packages Anderson and Rawson family. You made me feel pretty special when I got two packages in one day. I could just see the jealousy in the other elders and that's always fun. I am enjoying eating everything you sent me. Oh, and I'm pretty sure I thanked mom for the cookies, but oh well - saying it again won't hurt anybody. Thanks mom. I think this last week flew by faster than any other week I have been through. It was here one second and then gone the next. I imagine that is how the rest of my mission is going to be like though, so I might as well get used to it.

I am still learning a lot every day. I have just come to the conclusion that I am never going to learn enough so I figure I won't think about it and try to do as much as I possibly can. Like I said in my letter I wrote, the lesson went really well. I took Ryan's advice and just mainly focused on learning how to put sentences together. Then a couple days before we actually taught I memorized most of the words I wanted to use for the first lesson. I am coming to find that flash cards are man's best friend. I carry them everywhere with me.
We are also trying to be a lot better at speaking our language. My district does about three days a week of no English. We have come to find out it is a lot easier to be obedient and not talk about worldly things when you don't really know how to talk about them. I am never more spiritual then when I am just speaking tagalog.

The speaker we had yesterday was really good. I actually can't remember his name right now, but I'm sure you will get over it. He was part of the missionary council or something. He really stuck it to us and was very blunt. Those are my favorite kind of talks. There is no better motivator than guilt. He really made me feel like I wasn't doing good enough so now I hope I can use that to do better.
Oh and I think the craziest thing that's happening this week is the oldest districts are leaving from our zone. I am going to be in the oldest district at the end of today. I would have to say that that is a little unsettling to think about. I don't know if I will ever really feel ready to head out there. Yet, at the same time, I want to get out of this place. I guess I will just have to focus on the second one so I can motivate myself to actually leave when the time comes.

Well, I love you all. I'm sorry this letter is a little random in its organization but I really don't have the time to do any fine tuning. Thanks again for everything and I will try and make sure I get the letters out that I missed last week".

See ya and I love you all.
Keep the lord on you mind
Elder Booth

Mingling after the Conference...

Elder Booth with someone else...

Elder Booth, Elder Robison, and Elder Wade

Say what? Elder Wade

Elder Booth, Elder Wade and two good friends

Elder Osborn and Elder Wade getting a little snuggle time:

Elder Booth's Zone