I wanted all of Elder Booth's emails to be able to be on the blog, in case someone wanted to see how he was. Sometimes they fit in an "event" blog, but sometimes I have some leftovers that don't fit, as is the case now. Here are the emails we received from Elder Booth that haven't yet been posted:
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 18:03:02
Hey sorry I dropped the ball last week on sending a letter. I didn't have much time and I guess I figured the email would cover it. I appreciate the packages that you sent, especially the ones with sweets in them.
I have been doing great this past week. I am getting closer and closer to the teachers and it really makes for a good learning environment. They both have good things to teach us and I actually find myself looking forward to going to class once in a while. I cant tell you how good it feels to actually understand all of the language stuff they are teaching. I just wish that I could remember everything when I leave the class so I could use it outside and learn it better. Oh well, I guess I will just have to try harder to memorize everything.
Besides the whole "memorizing everything I want to," I am doing all right in the language. We just got done learning our fourth verb conjugation. I guess there are four main ones but about twenty in total. I understand them, but it takes me quite a while to figure out a whole sentence in my head. It's hard to imagine me using all of them really fast. I guess when I have no other choice I will have to just suck it up and figure it out. Oh, and I have a lot of people in my class that have learned a lot of Spanish in the past and I am told that this is a much harder language to learn. You know, just thought I would throw that out there.
I think one of my favorite days here would have to be Thursday. This is the day when we actually put what we learn to use. First, we have fifteen minutes of a language activity and thirty minutes to teach the lesson we are on. They give us a scenario so it is as real as possible. this week we got to sit down with them and talk about their families while we bore out testimonies and set up a return appointment. I don't want to brag or anything, but I pretty much nailed it. In fact, our fake investigator got a little excited and used all kinds of words we hadn't learned yet. Luckily he used some good hand gestures so I could figure out what he was trying to say.
The lesson afterward also went well. It was the first lesson again, or at least most of it. They were supposed to have had a first lesson with previous missionaries. Well, anyway, it went really well and my kasama (companion) and I worked really well together. I was even able to answer all of his questions about how he could really know that Joseph smith was the true prophet and why he was the only one at the time with the power of the priesthood. I already love teaching, so I can't wait to get out in the field and do my thing.
Well, I got to go, but I will send a letter this week and make it extra special since I didn't send one last week. So be prepared to be baffled.
December 8, 2008 9:40:50 AM PST
Hello again. Isn't the Christmas season amazing?! I hope everyone got to sit down and listen to the wonderful message yesterday. Luckily I had the opportunity myself, and it was great. They all had great things to say. I kind of felt like the main topic was service. Now that I think about it, I was never really good at doing service during the holidays, when in fact this should very well be the most important time to do some. Like Elder Uchtdorf said, some of most memorable Christmases can be when we give our time to helping other people, or when other people help us. I would strongly encourage you to make this a memorable Christmas for you and others. I can still remember that sacred Christmas when we did not have much for Christmas, but were blessed by someone else with bounteous gifts from an unknown person. That is a special memory to me, so I would hope everyone can make a special memory to someone else.
I hope everyone is doing great. I love hearing from each and everyone of you. If I don't write back right away do not feel left out. I can usually only get two, maybe three, letters done if they are fairly long. So forgive me for my short comings. Things are still going great here. It is kind of weird being in the oldest district, but good at the same time. It gives me a great chance to let others in on small secrets that I wish I would have known, like make sure and tell your companion to leave the room once in a while when he has to relieve himself so you don't have to die. Joke long.
Anyway, the lesson last week was great. It was the first real lesson in the TA that was in tagalog. We prepared well and it showed as we went through the lesson. I am still having a little difficulty remembering which scriptures to share in tagalog but with some more study I am sure I will be there in no time. My companion and I are still having a problem with teaching 50/50, but this is a lot of my fault. When I start talking it is kind of hard to shut me up. I will hopefully get over that little hurdle soon so I can give him the chance to say what he knows. Oh, and that reminds me, we have decided to go on splits for the next lesson. It has already been a great experience to learn new things from someone else. I almost wish we could have taught in English one time because we teach so well together but that's alright. We will just have to work extra hard to make tagalog just as good.
It was fast Sunday, so like the last one we were able to have a missionary conference. This was a great experience for me. They talked on things like family and writing my journal. Oh, and I hope every one has been writing in a journal. If you haven't, it's ok. Repent and start one. Since I have been here I have made that goal to write at least one page per day. I have 47 pages so far. If I can do it with my poor writing skills, then I know you can. Give your posterity a chance to know what you were like. It will be a great blessing in there lives.
Everything else is going great. I am getting along great with my kasama and I have plenty of good food to eat thanks to you, my loving family. Oh, and everybody has been asking me what I need for Christmas. I really don't know exactly. Everybody has been doing great so far in the packages that you sent me. Although I wouldn't be opposed to polyester ties. I am kind of short on those. Mahal ko kayo
I think these are the only ones not already included in previous posts!