As Elder Booth mentioned in his last letter, he has already graduated and is a civil engineer. Here's a shot of him in the apartment:
Here he is again with Elder Hamblin and his new companion in the background:
Here he is with Elder Hamblin's new companion, Elder Lising:
Here is Elder Lucas again with another Elder (maybe his last companion??):
Here is Elder Lising with a Sister missionary:
While the companionships have changed, the work hasn't. Here is the next update from Elder Booth:
Date: February 15, 2009 7:01:57 PM PST
Hey everybody. Things are still going well here on the other side of the world. Let's see. Nothing all that exciting has really happened, so I will do my best to make it a good one this week.
I am doing a lot better with my companion. We have actually become pretty good friends, even though there is still a little language barrier. He is actually a lot like an American in a lot of ways, so i am not having too much trouble getting used to the culture things. Elder Hamblin's companion is a little different still. He is really hard to get used to. I have to hold my breath a lot when he does some things. It's good to learn patience. It will make me a lot better husband some day.
The work as actually been slowing down a little bit. All of our current investigators have the tendency to not be there when we are supposed to teach them. So we are doing a lot of finding right now. Our area really is not all that big, so it is kind of hard to find new places to go since I have pretty much been everywhere now. It's good though, because I am learning a lot talking to people all of the time. As for our investigators, we are having a tough time getting them to church. They are willing to listen, read, and even pray, but going to church just doesn't fall on their agenda on Sundays. In fact, we only had one investigator come last Sunday. Her name is Sister Mary Ann and she is the one that is pregnant and just needs to get married in order to be baptized. We are having a lot of trouble with the desire of Brother Gasper. He just does not seem like he wants to be married. My companion will always call him a momma's boy when we go there. I think that is kind of funny. We have also been working in this rich area as well. That is a little harder, of course, but we are having some luck. It is a really nice place though. If I were to move to the Philippines, that would probably be the place I would go. It is right next to a golf course and there is a big resort just up the road. There are some really nice houses. It is weird teaching in a bamboo hut and then going there and sitting in a family room twice the size of most houses here. We have three investigators there right now that are also doing good, but just won't come to church.
The ward is doing good, but still in a healing process, or at least that is what the bishop said. They got pretty messed up from the last missionaries that were here. I still hear his name usually once a day from one of the members. They all think he had a girl friend. They do not treat the girl that was supposed to be his girlfriend very good either. She is luckily still active, but she just goes to a different meeting house. My companion wants to actually work with her again. I don't know if that is the best idea though, since one of the first things a lot of members said to me was stay away from her. I will have to update you later on how that dilemma works out.
The language is going alright. I guess it could be worse. It is just a little frustrating not to understand everything. A lot of the times I will know what they are saying, but can't seem to find the right words to respond. It is the worst when they are talking about me. It's good though. I am just using it as motivation right now to learn more each day.
Oh, I showed some members all of the family pictures. They think we are all pretty guapo and guapa. They even called Chad a movie star, so they must really like Americans. Joke long. Oh, and sorry Ulma, they thought you were Mexican. If it makes you feel any better I corrected them right away. It was pretty funny though. T hey loved the mountains in the back ground too. They just could not get over those. All of them said they wanted to go there just for that. I guess we take them for granted some times. I know I did. I kind of miss them now.
As far as the culture stuff goes, I don't really know anymore. I have been drenched the last couple of days because I keep forgetting my umbrella. Oh, that is one thing. They actually hate the rain here. They think you will get sick if you stay out in it for too long. Oh, and if you are sweaty you can't take a shower or go out in the rain until you are dry or you will get some disease that I can't remember the name of. I guess the weirdest thing was having a kid poop in the middle of my lesson again. This was different though. When it happened before, they actually cleaned it up and everything. This time they just took the kid, threw some water on him, and then threw some ash on the poop, which was right in the middle of the house. I thought that was kind of interesting. Oh, and basketball is really fun here. I'm tall and can dunk it, so they think I am Kobe or something. It's fun though and they are a blast to play with. I actually played this morning.
Well I had better get going. Keep sending me news of home. Still sounds like things are changing really fast back there. It just won't be the same place I left. Oh well. I like change for the better. I love you all and wish the best. Thanks again for the support. I don't think I could thank you enough for that, so I will just keep including it at the end each week.