Monday, May 9, 2011

After Weeks of Silence

Heelllloooo FAMILY!
Things are just great here in Arenal, thanks for asking! Yep, I´m still in the same ward that I´ve been in since December, and this is officially my tomb. I´ll be finishing my time as a full-time missionary here in this Ward. It´s so great. So here´s an update:
After several weeks of difficulty, we´ve begun to see mild success again in our area. Two weeks ago we baptized a boy named Daniel, whose mom is a less-active member and dad is a non-member (and non-interested haha). It was kind of a battle with them, considering the fact that they live right next door to us. We had started working with them a few months ago, but decided to leave them because they never went to church. But one day about three weeks ago we decided to try and visit them again, and they accepted. They attended Sacrament meeting and Stake Conference with us, and then Danny was baptized last Sunday. All went well, except for the fact that the boiler has kind of stopped functioning and the water was freezing cold. Fortunately, cold water still works to wash away sins. He got confirmed yesterday, and he got really shy and didn´t want to sit in the chair to be confirmed in front of everybody. But I went up to help and participate in the ordinance, and all went well. Remission of sins received!
Yesterday we had the awesome opportunity to baptize Daniela, the daughter of another less-active mother named Olivia. She is one of the most intelligent 9-year-old girls I have ever met! My last companion (Elder Galvan) and I were working with her in February but also decided to drop her because her mom would go to parties on Saturday night and wouldn´t wake up to take her to church on Sundays. But, again, we decided to re-visit them, and they decided to put the batteries in and make an effort to attend Church. Long story short, they have been going to Church every week and Daniela got baptized yesterday (with the same cold water with which Daniel got baptized...the pump that takes the water out of the baptismal font is broken we had to use the same water as the week before). But still, the water was cleaner than the water was at the River Jordan, so all went well.
President Hicken sent us a really good email this week about obedience to our leaders, and I feel like that is one of the most important things I´ve learned here on the mission. He used the example of Brigham Young, when Joseph accused him ofdoing something wrong when he knew he was innocent. Instead of trying to ¨defend¨ himself, or prove Joseph wrong, he humbly said, ¨What would you like me to do?¨ That´s the attitude we need to have when we receive counsel from our leaders. Whenever the assistants call us and ask us to do something that seems a little strange with the Zone, I always just say yes. My companion usually asks me, ¨why do they want us to do that?¨ And I tell him that I don´t know, we just need to say yes and do it. It´s something that has blessed me immensely, and it´s an attitude that I think will help all of us throughout our lives.
Anyway, I love you all. Have a great week!
Elder Budge

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Is every week like this as a Zone Leader?"

Hello Family!

The subject of this email was one of the very first things my new companion asked me after a ridiculously busy week.

On Monday Elder Galvan and I had our last day of work together, we went to the Temple to pick up some new missionaries and work with them for the day before they received their new trainers on Tuesday.

Tuesday we headed out to the changes meeting at the Temple, and we dropped off the greenies with their new trainers. Elder Galvan got changed to the Aragon/Moctezuma/Vergel Zone, and I received a new Zone Leader, Elder Robles. He's awesome; obedient and hard-working. What more can I ask? Tuesday we only got to work in the afternoon, but we were able to find a new investigator named Eleazar. He accepted all his commitments and accepted his baptismal date. We'll see more of his progress this week.

Wednesday morning we had Zone Leaders' Council from 9 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon! It was really good actually, and the Asisstants gave us an awesome class about humility. We got back at about 5 o clock, which gave us a little bit of time to get Magui's interview done. The secretaries called us right after the interview, and told us that we need to head to another part of our Zone to look for a new house for new americans that were going to be coming to the Zone. We headed out and were out looking for a house all afternoon to no avail...

So Thursday we left the house early and headed back to continue looking for a new house. We ran into some other street preachers that wanted to fight with us, but we did our best to just not listen to them. They very "politely" invited us to embrace what they call the truth, but we continued on our house-hunt. We finally found a good house, and right afterward we had to head back to the temple for Magui's special interview. Then we came back to our Zone with the secretaries to sign the contract for the new house.

Friday we held a District Leader Council in our Zone, and right afterward we went back to the Temple AGAIN to pick up the new missionaries in our Zone. One of the new people didn't show up to the training meeting, so we had to head out to a place called La Paz (kinda far...) to pick him up. We brought the new missionaries to their house, set them all up, and got to our house at nine.

Saturday we got to work normal and went the whole day looking for new investigators, contacting everyone in the street. We got two more interviews done and set up everything for the baptismal service on Sunday.

Yesterday Magui and her two children, Vianey and Luis Angel were baptized. It was an excellent way to end the week.

This week, we'll actually have time to work in our area! Woo hoo! And PS, my airplane will be arriving on May 28th, at 12:30 in the afternoon! And the records secretary hooked me up with the window seat!

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Budge

Monday, March 7, 2011

The General Epistle of Elder Budge

Hellllooo Family!

How's it going back home in the Gabacho? I hope everything is going well, everyone nice and cozy, watching TV and eating Pizza as I roast in the hot sun on the Mexican street out here in Neza! This past week was a blast for my companion and I, because I'm now 21 years old! Is that weird or what? It's a strange feeling and I don't want to think about it anymore, but I must because I have to tell you how my b-day went here.

So last Monday I took myself shopping, bought some sneakers and a T-shirt, and we ate some delicious Domino's Pizza, courtesy of Jared and Monica Budge. Then on my actual birthday, an investigator named Magui bought me a delicious cake and a brand-new, beautiful tie. That's how we can tell she is ready for the Gospel, right?! Then yesterday another family bought me another cake, equally delicious, and some chocolates. All in all, it was a really good birthday!

Anywho, back to business. This past week Magui has been progressing so much. She is absolutely incredible! I don't know if I told you last week, but she fixed her work schedule so she can go to Church every Sunday, and this past week we were able to teach her two children as well. Her son, Luis Angel, is really shy, but has been reading the Book of Mormon on his own and has prayed about it. Her daughter, Vianey, is really awesome as well. We watched the Restoration video, and afterward when we asked her how she felt about it, she started to cry and wouldn't tell us why. I asked her if what she was feeling was positive or negative, and she said that it was positive. That's good news too! Long story short, Magui will be baptized this coming Sunday and her kids next Sunday.

My companion has transfers tomorrow after six short weeks together, and I'll be training yet another new Zone Leader. Time flies!

I really love the Gospel, and I can't believe I have so little time to continue sharing it as a full-time Missonary!

Elder Budge

Las Fotos:

1. Me with my new shirt and shoes!
2. Again...with my new socks as well! (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!)
3. Pizza and soda and my companion Elder Galvan.
4. Magui, her three kids, the cake, my new tie, and my companion.
5. Our last photo together....

Monday, February 28, 2011

No Clever Ideas Today...

Hello family!
Thanks for all the letters, fotos, packages, and everything else! Grandma and Grandpa, yes I did receive your package on Valentine´s Day, so it was fun to re-live the Christmas excitement. And I also received a sweet package from Conrad, with an Armor of God coin that I now carry with me at all times.
This past week was awesome. We were able to find some really elect people that are really striving to change their lives for good and follow the example of our Savior. We found a lady named Rosario, who told us that she remembered that Elders used to go to her house and play with her when she was 5 years old, and that they would teach her family as well. So we were able to teach her, invite her to be baptized along with her sons, and they went to church with us on Sunday.
We also found an amazing lady named Magdalena, who told us that she has been searching for the truth for a long time. She left her original Church, studied with another religion (hint: they knock doors like us...) but then she didn´t like it either, and she told us she noticed big changes in her aunt when she joined the Church. We went and taught her about the Restoration and how she could come to know for herself which Church is true. We invited her to be baptized on March 13th, and she accepted. She told us at the end of the lesson that she had felt a peace that she hadn´t felt for a very long time, and that for the first time in a very long time she smiled and laughed (well...I like to be myself when I teach, and sometimes that means a few funnies...). She´s golden, and I feel so blessed to be able to teach her the Gospel.
That´s pretty much all the scuttlebutt from my end, I hope you all have a great week, and we´ll see you sooner than you think!
Elder Budge
PS. That last little bit of the letter doesn´t mean I´m going home early. Don´t worry about that...haha.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another week...another opportunity to BAPTIZE the world.

Yellow family!!!

How are things going?! I'm feeling really good today, the sun is shining, there's a lot of dirt in the street, plenty of people walking around, ready and waiting to receive the message of the Restored Gospel. Who could complain?

This week was a week of some serious improvement for us here in Neza. We've been having some struggles these past few weeks, but we're doing everything we can to follow the counsel of our leaders explicitly and and we're beginning to see the blessings. We're trusting in the Process, and working our hind quarters off to contact, find, teach, bring to Church, baptize, confirm, and everything else!

We've been focusing mainly on just a few investigators we've found in these past few weeks...mainly the only ones that have gone to Church. Firstly, we're working with a brother named Juan Gonzalez and his daughter Monica. We found him when we did splits with the assistants two weeks ago, and he's been really receptive to our teaching. Last week we met his daughter Monica and Karin, but Monica has been the only one of the two that has been keeping her commitments to read, pray, and attend Church. She's definitely the one that's progressing most! She has her baptismal date for the 27th of February, and we're working hard with her to make sure she has everything she needs. Her sister, Karina, was really interested before, and would always ask us a million and a half questions about everything, but later told us, "Nah...I'll just stick with my religion." I'm always reminded of the Parable of the Sower when we meet people like that...that just let other things get in the way of the growth of the seed they plant. But, we're not called to teach them...we're called to teach the Elect, those who "hear [the Lord's] voice and hardenth not [their] heart[s]." And only them!

We've also been working with a 10 year old girl who hasn't been baptized, though her mom has been a member of the Church since she (the mom) was 8 years old. Her daughter, Datia, hasn't been baptized because her dad won't let her be baptized. He says that she only ten years old and doesn't really know what she wants (although she was baptized as a baby...back when she did know what she wanted...?). This sister, Catalina, told us simply that "she's living the consequences of not following the counsel of the Church". That is...marrying outside of the Covenant. The main difficulty is the father though...he says that if she gets baptized, she's not going to have a Dad anymore. Sound rational to you? Nope! Gotta love those awesome, loving fathers...but this girl is totally ready to be baptized. She knows more Articles of Faith than my companion! Hahaha!

At night, I've been reading the Institute manual called "The History of the Church in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times", and I've read a lot about all the sacrifices the early Saints did as they remained faithful to the Savior and His Church. It really is incredible...of course, you've got a few Apostates here and there sometimes, but it's amazing the way the Lord provided for all who stuck to it with faith like Iron. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven, I know it. I've also read a few times Doctrine and Covenants 58, which has been a great help for me as well. I would suggest that you all read it.

Anywho, I love you all. The Gospel is true, and never forget it!

Elder Budge

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sorry about the last two weeks!

Hello Family!

Yes, it is true, I haven't written for the past two weeks. But worry not little flock, I will update all of you so you can know "Que what's up" with the NezaPantitlan Zone. Two weeks ago Elder Coutino had changes, and I received a new Zone Leader, Elder Galvan, from Oxapampa, Peru. I think we're the only companionship in the mission that doesn't have a Mexican! It's been a blast working with him; we already knew each other before, because when I was first assigned as a District Leader in Xicotepec, he was in my district. It's fun that way because we don't have to play the "Get to know you" game.

This past week was pretty intense, we taught a bunch of lessons, and found a bunch of new investigators, but on Sunday only one of them went to Church. I was pretty bummed, and pretty confused, but after reporting to the Assistants last night I have more or less an idea of what we need to do in order to improve. This week should be a pretty good opportunity to figure out things we can do better, because on Wednesday we have our Zone Leaders' Council and on Thursday we have Leadership Training in our Zone.

Anywho, that's really all the news I have! Have a good week and go to the Temple!

Elder Budge

Monday, January 24, 2011


This is a photo of the baptism of Marco Antonio that we had last week. Sorry I can't write much! See ya next week!