Monday, December 28, 2009

Prospero Año y Felicidad!

Hey family!

There really is not much to report this week. Seems like it was just a pretty normal one. So that´s why I think I will just focus on responding individually this week!

Elder Cardenas and I had a pretty great Christmas. We had a Zone Activity in the Zone Leader´s area; we went to the Metro and sang in the cars, and contacted. It was pretty awesome. I was able to contact a really cool guy, and gave him a Book of Mormon with my testimony written inside. Then, of course, I was able to talk with my family, which was really really really awesome.

I love you all so much, and I hope you set some good, challenging goals this new year. Make one of your goals be to read the Book of Mormon. I am pretty sure that last sentence has some pretty terrible grammar, but I cannot think of how else to say it. Sorry!

Elder Budge

Monday, December 21, 2009

My first baptism with warm water!

Hey family!

I just want to start off by saying that we had an awesome game of soccer this morning, and I'm looking more and more Mexican every time we play. I scored 2 goals.

This week has been packed with cool stuff to tell. Basically, we just had a really really good week here in Xochitenco. I had the opportunity to do Divisions with our District Leader, Elder Renteria, on Wednesday, and we had a really good time together. We found some really cool investigators--one of which speaks English! Usually when people in Mexico say they speak english, they really don't, they only know how to say 'hi' and 'how are you', but Angelica really knows how to speak fluently. It's a first for me.

Then on Friday, Elder Cardenas and I headed to the Zone Leaders' area so I could have my interview with the President. He's one of the most amazingly spiritually receptive people I have ever met. Mom, Dad, I'm going to invite him to dinner with you guys when he heads back to Utah in June so you can meet him. Anyway, the interview was a good re-fresher for me.

We also had an awesome ward Christmas dinner, and we were able to bring investigators and some inactive members with us. Elder Cardenas, the other companionship from our ward, and I were asked to join the Relief Society in singing some hymns before the dinner. We sang like a 1000 songs, and every time, the lady who was 'directing' us sad that it was going to be the last time. I have some sweet photos...but I forgot to bring my camera with me. I'll try to send them next week.

And, to top off the week, we had a baptismal service held for Elizabeth yesterday. It was so great. She's 13 years old, and has experienced a lot of junk in her life that's forced her to grow up faster than normal. I had the privelege of baptizing her, and when she came up out of the water, she had the biggest smile on her face (she never smiles), and asked me if we could do it again. I felt and feel very very content, and I'm sure our Heavenly Father is as well.

Merry Christmas everyone! Be sure to ask for gifts from Santa, because apparently if you ask for gifts from the Wise Men, they don't come until the 6th of January. Bummer! Mexico makes me laugh often.

Elder Budge

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Temple, Soccer, and Pool. Good week.

Hey Fam!

How's it going? I'll pretend that I heard you all say "really well, Elder Budge!"--Oh that's good to hear. I'm glad to know that you're all doing well, and I hope you know how much the Lord is watching over each and every one of you--if you don't believe me, read DyC 101:1. It's a good one.

This week has been pretty awesome. Elder Cardenas had the privelege of visiting the House of the Lord last Tuesday--and can I tell you, it was so refreshing. It had been months since I'd been to the Temple last, and it was so amazing to participate in that hugely important part of the Lord's work in these last days. Like I said last week, GO TO THE TEMPLE! It was especially sweet because I got to see my companion from the MTC, Elder Walk, and we were able to talk a little bit in the Celestial Room. I also got to see my Dad, my Grandpa, and my Great-Grandpa, and we took a family picture. I'll send it when I find the time.

Grandma and Grandpa! I received your package on Tuesday as well! It's awesome, thank you so much! I have my stocking hanging above my bed in our apartment...and I've already opened all the presents inside haha. Mom and Dad weren't here to stop me. And yes, I read every scripture before opening them, and I got a really good lauch out of it. Very clever. Thanks again so much, I love you both like crazy. I'll be sending a letter as soon as I get my hands on some American Postage stamps. Mom, I still haven't received the package you said you sent me! Looks like I won't get it until January. Bummer.

This week was a pretty normal week; my companion and I are learning a lot about each other. We have a mountain of work to get done, and it always seems like there is never enough time to do it.

So there's not much more to report this week...although I must say I was rockin it pretty hard when we played Fast Soccer today...and yes, I scored a goal. I felt like a pretty big hot shot. After playing soccer we headed to the local pool hall and spent a couple hours playing some 8 and 9 ball. I love Preparation Days.

But not as much as I love you! Thank you for the emails, letters, all that good stuff. We'll see each other pretty soon.

Elder Budge

Monday, December 7, 2009

Xochitenco, La Perla!

Hello from very dusty Chimalhuacan!

As I said before, I had changes last Tuesday, and I've been transferred to La Perla Stake, in the Xochitenco Ward--I wrote from Chimalhuacan because that is what the city is called. And there are maybe a total of 5 paved roads in my area, which always makes walking in windy weather an adventure. My new companion's name is Elder Cardenas (accent on the a), and he's got two more cycles left before he heads home to San Luis, Mexico. We're having a good time.

We had a baptism yesterday, a lady named Nancy, who has been attending church here for about 6 years. She hadn't been able to be baptized because she wasn't married, but she finally convinced her husband to tie the knot and they were married on Saturday. Although I don't know her very well, I absolutely loved being able to watch her be baptized by my companion after so many years of waiting.

We have some pretty cool investigators--Adrian, Maria (who need to get married); Berenice (who also needs to get married); and Mauri, who is really really really awesome. Please pray for them so that they may have the means necessary in order to be able to be baptized. I can't tell you how important your prayers are to the work we do here!

There's not much more news from my end. We're headed to the Temple to have a session, eat dinner, and have Zone Conference tomorrow, and I'm really really really excited, I haven't been able to go to the temple in 4 months! Take advantage of the many opportunities you have to attend the temple--to do sessions and to do baptisms and confirmacions for the dead! I can assure you, there are thousands and thousands of people anxiously waiting to be able to receive a Remission of their sins and other saving ordinances on the other side of the veil. Remember, our dead cannot be saved without us, and we cannot be saved withouth them.

Love you all, and I hope you're listening to Christmas music every day.

Elder Budge

Monday, November 30, 2009

The changes touch me!

Hey family!

Yep, that's right, me tocan los cambios (the changes touch me...that's the really weird Spanish way to say that I have changes tomorrow!). I'm almost completely packed up and I am headed to the Stake Center next to the Mexico City Temple tomorrow to find out who my new companion will be, and where I'm headed off to. I am ridiculously excited.

So my last week of my 4-month stay here in Atlicpac was pretty excellent. We ended with our highest numbers yet, and with 5 baptisms in this cycle (making 11 in my mission thusfar). I feel very content with the things Elder Pastrana, Elder Cab, and I were able to accomplish together here in Atlicpac.

We had two baptisms this past weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Saturday was so sweeeet, it was so great to be able to see David enter the waters of baptism after investigating the Church for so long (over a year and half, with one month in which he did not attend Church, and told Elder Pastrana and I that God told him that the Church isn't true). I feel like he's going to be a great leader in the future. Eduardo was baptized on Sunday--he's the brother of a less-active family that just barely started coming to Church again four weeks ago. Elder Cab and I were able to teach him, and he quickly accepted his baptismal date.

Truly, the Lord is fulfilling the promises that He made with the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon--and they are blossoming like a desert flower. I feel so blessed to be in the Promised Land, and to know that the field is especially white and ready to harvest here in Mexico. We don't worry ourselves with carrying seeds with us--just a good sickle. I love all of you and hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving, and are making all the necessary preparations in order to remember and commemorate the birth of our Saviour. For God so loves YOU, that He gave His only begotten Son.

We certainly do have reason to be grateful.

Elder Budge

Monday, November 23, 2009


Hello Family!

This week has been very very weighted! That's how we say busy in Spanish! I can't believe that this cycle is already winding down, and on Friday I'll be burning a Tie to commemorate my Sixth Month-aversary. Time really is flying by so fast! I can hardly believe it.

As I said, this week has been very very busy. A few highlights:

Multi-Zone Conference. Holy incredible! The Area President of Mexico, Elder Johnson came and taught us for nearly three hours on Friday, and it was absolutely incredible. We discussed the 4th Article of Faith, and I've never ever learned so much in so little time. I couldn't believe we were able to spend so much time learning about such a seemingly basic principle of the Gospel. Zone Conferences are always such a great Spirit Re-Charger for me. We are so lucky to be led by leaders who are led by our Heavenly Father through his Holy Spirit. 

Baptism! Elder Cab and I were able to have another baptism this past Saturday. Her name is Sandra, and she's the Ward Missionary Leader's daughter. She has met with missionaries off and on for the past year, and her parents thought it was impossible that she would want to be baptized. When we told them that we set up a baptism for her on Saturday, they were completely shocked and really didn't believe us. But her father was able to baptize her, and it was a really really great experience for all of us. She's such a great convert--always answers the questions in Principles of the Gospel. I love it! Love the work! If all goes well, we should have two more baptisms this week. 

Today was definitely a day to be remembered. At 9 this morning, we went as a Zone to go bowling (or Boliche...heh heh), and I went to a mall for the very first time in Mexico! Our area is way out in the boonies, and a lot of it doesn't have paved roads, and we only have one commercial store. So I was pretty pumped about seeing a real Wal Mart and a really big, really nice mall. Parts of Mexico remind me of Southern California, but a lot less green. So anyway, we went to Burger King and the mall while we waited for the bowling alley to open at 12. We waited until 12 30 and realized that it doesn't open on Mondays...bummer. But we had some good laughs and took some good pictures. So we headed back to the Metro Station to go to our areas, when some Policemen on the side of the road stopped the Combi (small VW Van--public transportation) we were in. He opened up the sliding door and asked us if the Driver of the Combi was driving safely, and if we had smelled anything weird. I was pretty confused, when he asked us all to get out of the van. And then, yep, you guessed it--"Spread your legs and put your arms above your head." He frisked all of us, searched our backpacks, and then sent us merrily along our way. That's one thing checked of my list of things to experience in Mexico--be frisked by a Mexican police officer. We went home, and now I'm here, writing this letter. I really do have an ever-increasing love of Mexico.

Welp, as that one pig says, that's all folks. I hope everyone has a great week, and reads the Book of Mormon every day! I can't tell you how much it helps.

Love, Elder Budge

PS. Mom, my companion's full name is Humberto Efrain Cab Garrido. He's from Merida, Yucatan, and he's absolutely crazy. I love him very dearly. haha.

Monday, November 16, 2009

B! Y! U!...Pumas?

Hello familia!

This week has been a pretty interesting week, to say the least. Elder Cab and I have been having a tough time building the Kingdom of God on the earth. But sometimes, we just need to plow through days like these with all of the energy of our hearts, and if we endure it well, God will bless us beyond our imagination! (see D&C 121:7-9).

We did have one pretty exceptionally awesome experience this week. These past few weeks, we have been teaching a lady named Sandra, who is the Ward Missionary Leader´s daughter. She is a really closed, private person, and we have a hard time figuring out exactly what she needs to hear. But this week, Elder Cab and I decided to have the Charla Franca (the frank discussion) with her, and tell her that we would no longer be able to visit with her if she couldn´t complete with her commitments. Elder Cab talked about how really, there are only two Churches in this world: The Church of Jesus Christ and the Church of Satan. I then explained to her why we work so hard toward baptism, because we know of its importance, especially when the Lord told us in Doctrine and Covenants that with greater knowledge comes greater condemnation. As I was speaking, she started to cry and cry, and after I finished, I asked her to share what she was feeling. After a few very long minutes of silence, she explained to us that earlier that morning, she had had a dream in which she saw Jesus Christ. She saw a big drop of blood fall from His body, and then saw two churches: The Church of Jesus Christ and the Church of Satan. We then spoke of baptism a little more—she´s going to be baptized this week. I cannot tell you how incredible and unbelievable that lesson was. Truly, this is the Lord´s Church. His only one. 

I love you all, and hope you are praying and reading every day. Remember, those who have scriptures that are falling apart, usually have lives that aren´t. I know that that is true. There is Prophet of God Himself living on this earth—a man that receives revelation to guide the Living Church of Christ! How great are our blessings from our loving Heavenly Father.

I´ve attached some pictures—some cool graffiti, my new Pumas (cougars) jersey, and some others. Zion is growing!

Love, Elder Budge

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hey Family!

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is doing great this week. I can’t believe the way time flies here. P days come so fast. This week I had a really good experience that I want to share with you. Ok? Ok.

So the other day, Elder Cab and I were knocking doors, and having little/no really awesome super success, and it was very hot. I was getting a little impatient with knocking doors, because I feel like it’s the very least effective thing we can do as missionaries. I walked up to a door with Elder Cab, and heard people talking on the other side of the gate. I knocked the usual knock and they continued to talk without answering the door. I knocked again and said “buenas tardes!” but yet again to no avail. Elder Cab turned to me and asked me “Do you think they’re going to be cool?” I thought for a moment and then replied: “No…I don’t think so. Let’s go to the next house.” As we were turning to go to the next door, a thought came to my mind (in Spanish…heh heh) and said “No vamos a saber si seran chidos a menos que hablemos con ellos”. That being, roughly translated: “We aren’t going to know if they’ll be cool unless we speak to them.” I stopped, knocked on the gate again and said, almost shouting, “BUENAS TARDES!” A woman answered the door, and I introduced my companion and myself, explained why we were there, and asked if we could come in to share our message with them. She looked back at her husband, and then at her Dad, and there was a moment of awkward silence. Then, almost simultaneously, the three of them said “Yes, come in!” We had a really good lesson with them, and they’re going to come to Church with us this coming Sunday. I will never forget that simple phrase that came to my mind; and from now on it will be my motto. God has thousands of His children prepared to listen to the Restored Gospel RIGHT NOW; we only have to do our part to find out who they are. And how will we know who they are unless we talk to them?

I’m sending a bunch of pictures today, including one of the package Elder Cab received earlier today—his mom sent me American Candies and a sweeeeet tie!

Love you all.

Elder Budge

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Day of the Dead

Happy Third day of the dead everyone!

Yes, here in Mexico City there 3 days of the dead: the 31st, the 1st, and the 2nd. They remember their dead in categories: one day for those who died naturally, one day for those who died before their time, and one day for unbaptized babies. I'm pretty sure those are the categories..but I could have understood incorrectly. And also, while the kids are trick or treating, they yell SKULLS! and you have to give them candy...and if you don't have candy at hand, they accept money as well! It's funny...and cost us a few pesos. But all is well here in Mexico State. And no Mom, I haven't been sick ni una vez!

Sofia was baptized yesterday, and I had the privelege of performing the ordinance. She's going to be such a great member--she's always reading the Book of Mormon and always asking questions. My District Leader, Elder Acuna, told me that Sofia and I look like brother and sister. I strongly disagree, and unfortunately I do not have my camera with me to send photos. 

I hope everyone is looking forward to this week, because I am! Thank you for your prayers and everything else that you've done to help us here in the Mexico East Mission. Love you all.

Be safe and be good!

Elder Budge

PS sorry this letter is kind of short...I spent most of time sending individual replies. Manos a la obra!

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's the end of October and we're already listening to Christmas songs!

Family, Friends, and my other spiritual brothers and sisters:

It´s me, Elder Budge. This week has gone by fast, I can´t believe it. Tomorrow I´ll have 5 months in the mission. El tiempo pasa volando! As I said last week, I had Changes last tuesday and I received my new Companion, Elder Cab! 

So a little about Elder Cab: He´s 20 years old and has 17 months here in the mish. Needless to say, I´ve been learning a lot from him and his plethora of experiences. He´s from Merida, Yucatan. He loves to try to speak english, and I laugh so so hard at night when he tries to tell me something in english. We have been having just a really good time together, we get along really really well. He´s always happy and laughing, which makes the harder times a little easier to get through. I´m sure we´ll have even more success as time comes and goes!

So this week was a pretty normal week, like the last. Sofia wasn´t able to baptized yesterday because she couldn´t get work off--we had kind of a frank discussion and I challenged her to stop working on Sundays entirely--so we´ll meet with her tonight to see what´s up. I explained to her that feelings of apprehension to do what´s right can only come from one source--yep, that old serpent Satan. The Lord ALWAYS provides us a way to accomplish what is necessary in our lives, but that doesn´t mean that the way He´ll provide will be easy. We just have to trust Him--He is perfect, after all.

Jessica, the girlfriend of a member here, was baptized yesterday, which was really really sweet. Miguel (the member) was able to baptize her, which made the baptism extra special. She´ll be confirmed next week!

I hope every one is doing unbelievably well. Love love love you.

Elder Budge

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hello Temple!

Hi family!

Honestly, this week I don't have much to report. We had a pretty normal week--we taught a bunch of lessons, had some investigators come to church, and we spent a lot of time looking up records of inactive members. Juan, who was baptized last week, was confirmed yesterday. That means a completed family--and they can start preparing to enter the Temple. In a year, Elder Pastrana and I can enter with them. Sweet! Those are the only opportunities we have to go to the Temple in the mission--so I plan on going a lot after I hit my year mark. All is well.

This cycle has ended, and I can't believe it. For those of you who don't know, a Cycle is a period of 6 weeks--and at the end of each cycle, we find out if we're being transferred or not. Elder Pastrana has Changes tomorrow, which means we get to head to Temple Grounds for our Changes Meeting! We've been together for 2 cycles already, and I'll be receiving a new companion tomorrow. I'm really excited, and at the same time a little sad that he'll be leaving me. The Lord know what He's doing.

That's about it, really...Sofia will be baptized this coming Sunday, which is sweeeeet. She has been reading the BOM like crazy and asked me for a copy of Doctrine and Covenants. Golden!

Love you all!
Elder Budge

Monday, October 12, 2009

God's elect! They're right here!


Just want to answer a couple of questions that have been made. Yes, Mom, the food is very different (yours is WAY better). Mandy, just teach your kids how to roll their r's (just make the sound whil they're babies and toddlers) and they'll be good to go. And a challenge to all: Give refferrals to your local missionaries! I know you know someone who needs to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Read DyC 88:81.

This week has been utterly amazing. The best week of my mission so far. We have two of the most amazing investigators in the world. One, named Sofia, is particularly unusual (in a very good way). Since we first visited her, she has read every pamphlet we have left with her, and done the additional study found in the back. She has been reading the Book of Mormon like no other, and knows almost all of the Testimony of Joseph Smith (where it explains how Joseph Smith received the plates), and best of all, knows it is true. I went with one of our Ward Missionaries to pick her up for Church yesterday, and she told me everything that she has read so far. When we got to the Chapel, she took a deep breath, let out a huge sigh, and called it "her other house". She has been a blessing to us this week. 

Our other really cool investigator is Paty, who lives really close to Sofia in the same colony (San Jose Las Palmas). After teaching the first lesson, explaining the Restoration, and answering a few questions about what we believe about music, dancing, parties, etc.; we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and come to Church. She promptly replied: I'm going to do what you've asked me to do. But you've already convinced me. Needless to say, she is a blessing as well. 

The Book Of Mormon is true. It is a witness that God still speaks to us today, through his chosen Prophets, as stated in Amos 3:7--that God will do nothing save he revealeth his secret to His servants, the Prophets. What a blessing we have to know that God hasn't (and will never) change.


Elder Budge

PS- We baptized Juan yesterday! After his confirmation, he and his wife, Angelica, can prepare for the Temple and go after a year. Sweet!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Holy incredible conference, Batman!

Hello once again my family and other loved ones!

This week has been just incredible. I´m continuing to learn and grow every day; the Lord has blessed me in many ways.

Elder Pastrana and I had another successful week--Claudia was able to be baptized yesterday between the morning and afternoon sessions of General Conference. It was awesome, even though the water was really cold and I messed up the Baptismal Prayer for the first time! But I nailed it the second time, and all went well. I´m grateful that I´m able to feel a small fraction of the joy that our Heavenly Father feels when one soul is brought unto him. Next week, if Claudia´s dad doesn´t work on Sunday, he´ll be baptized as well--which means a family completed and working towards going to the Temple. We had a really sweet lesson about temples and eternal families last night. What a blessing. It reminded me of when I entered the temple with my family. I can´t imagine Heaven without my family.

I was able to learn a lot this past week--I had Exchanges with our American District Leader, Elder Winters, and we had a blast. It´s no wonder he´s one of our leaders; he´s a great example. We knocked the entire day, and yet another drunkard in the street tried to talk me (my companion says i´m a drunkard magnet). It was a really good experience. I´m grateful for my leaders here.

Ok, so Conference was just amazing. Yes Mom, I was able to watch it--all 5 sessions. It was incredible. I especially liked the Saturday sessions; everyone seemed to talk, one way or another, about the nature of our Heavenly Father. We truly have a Father in Heaven that loves us more than we can understand, and we have the commandments He has given us because He knows it´s the best way for us to progress. Elder Oaks explained the difference that exists between mercy and justice, as it pertains to the love of God. He said something to this effect: "If one thinks that having God´s love is like having a license to disobey, that person neither understands love nor obedience". And it is absolutely true--He asks us to obey because He loves us. Mercy cannot rob justice--He knows that only through obedience can we become perfect like Him. In Elder Jorge F. Zeballo´s talk, he explained that the Lord does not expect of us that which we cannot achieve--and He commands us to be perfect. He does not require more than our best; neither does he accept any less--for both would be unjust. Elder Uchtdorf explained that He has promised us all that He has; and if that isn´t enough of a reason to love Him, we must love Him because He loved us first.

I am truly and eternally grateful for my Heaveny and Earthly parents, who show me the greatest love I could ever receive. Thank you.

Love, Elder Budgefference that exists between mercy and justice, as it pertains to the love of God. He said something to this effect

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

El tiempo da buen consejo.

Hi everyone!

This past week has had its ups and downs, as usual. Luckily we have a calm P Day to recuperate and start fresh tonight at six. 

We have been working with a number of Investigators, all of whom are really really cool. We have three baptisms scheduled for the coming Sunday; all three of them have scheduled baptismal interviews for Wednesday and Saturday. Their names are Irais, Claudia, and Angelica. Claudia is the daughter of Angelica, and Irais is a refferral from a member in the Ward. Yep! It's really sweet to have been able to see the great improvement in this Area. 

The following Sunday is the tentative date for the two young guys, Jose and Eric from the AA group. They're bothing having trouble giving up smoking, but we're doing what we can to help them. 

It was pretty crazy yesterday (Sunday) because Elder Pastrana went to pickup three investigators in three different places to no avail. It was frustrated, but we were instantly blessed with having Angelica, Claudia, and the husband of the family Juan attend sacrament meeting, along with Irais. We met a man named Vicente who attended for the first time yesterday, by himself. This is RARE. haha. He told us that he has passed by the chapel a number of times, and curiosity (and we could say, the Spirit) brought him to the Church. He is really awesome, he was asking us for a Book of Mormon by the end of Priesthood meeting and told us we could baptize him whenever we wanted. It was so great haha. We told him we're going to teach him a bit and then we can baptize him. We have an appointment with him tonight in the Chapel, along with our new Ward Mission Leader.

Gotta love this work.

Elder Budge

PS/ Mama Crump, thanks for that picture of Brady! I was dying of laughter. I'm doing to develop it today :)

Oh, and the picture attached is just one I took while we were on our way to play soccer last p day. I thought it turned out pretty sweet!

Monday, September 28, 2009

2 months in Mexico? No puede ser...

Good afternoons!

That´s what we say in Spanish. Don´t ask why its plural because I do not know. I can´t believe another week has passed; time flies so so fast when you walk as much as we do, I suppose. Yesterday was my four-month mark, and I feel like I´ve been here for a week. It´s a good sign, I guess, because it means we´re working hard and keeping busy every day. And we´ve been seeing an abundance of miracles.

Yesterday, Elder Pastrana and I had the privelege of providing the saving ordinance of Baptism for two of the Almas of God (souls). It was so great, I love seeing our investigators in white--the change in them is just astounding. I´ll try to attach a picture, but the card reader on this computer is a little finicky. I baptized Irais and Elder Pastrana baptized Angelica. It was a sweet experience. We have two baptisms programmed for the following Sunday for Vicente (our miracle walk-in investigator, who is really awesome) and for Claudia, Angelica´s daughter. If all goes well, Juan, Angelica´s husband, should be baptized the following Sunday (11th).
It will be really awesome because we´re going to the Stake Center to watch General Conference next Sunday, and we´ll have the baptisms between the two sessions of conference, along with the other missionaries in our Stake who have baptism scheduled as well. I know, right?

Just by the way, we had our Zone Conference last week (the 22nd), and I received letters from Miranda, Elder Jace Ross, and Kristie Martin (Kristie, I have received every letter, don`t worry). The letters I received were sent from BEFORE August 17th (do the math...that means over a month after they were submitted to DearElder). Just to let you know the approximate time frame. But thank you all, it´s great to know how everyone is doing.

We finally got a Ward Mission Leader called in our Ward, and we had a really good training meeting with him on Saturday. We received the list of Ward Missionaries on Sunday, and Elder Pastrana and I are preparing a training meeting for all of them on Saturday of this week. The Lord is definitely blessing us here in Atlicpac with the help of the members. Do your best to try to give at least one refferral to the missionaries this week--the work is so much more effective with the help of the members.

I love you all, and hope things are going just swimmingly for you. Suerte!

Elder Budge

PS- Nope, I couldn´t attach the picture. Dang.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nephi had to slay Laban...and we had to break into a chapel.

FAMily! Hey!

Thank you for your emails! Mandy and Eli, I´m glad you finally got your own place. I know what it´s like moving in with Mom and Dad again after...well, not living with Mom and Dad. Different worlds. On the one hand is the free food, and on the other...well it really isn´t important. I´m happy for you! I think Brady Crump´s brother and sister-in-law might be in your ward, they live right by there as well. There names are Dustin and Starlee Crump. Just by the by.

I´m glad things are going well for everyone that I´ve heard from. And I hope things are going well for the others. Things have been excellent, as usual, in la Misión México Este, the best mission on the face of the earth. We have definitely had an interesting week. Elder Pastrana and I went to the Doctor last Monday, and Elder Pastrana´s ear drum is fine! When we went a few weeks ago, the Doctor said there was a hole in his ear drum, but now it´s closed up! Which means no more need for surgery. Thank you for all your prayers; I know a surgery would have interfered greatly with the work we´re doing. He still has an infection, but he only has to take some medications and junk like that and all should be well.

So this past week we had our District Class with the other District of our Stake (in which are the Zone Leaders). We all went to a Chapel about 30 minutes away from ours by car, and when we arrived, the keys that the Zone Leaders didn´t work on the chapel doors. All the doors have locks with Finger Print Scanners, but the manual keys weren´t working. We found an open window on the second floor of the chapel, and an Elder in the other district lifted one of the members that was with us up into the window. It was so great, I have some sweet pictures of it. I can´t send them because the computer i´m using doesn´t have an SD card slot (bummer) but I´ll try to send them next week! 

Elder Pastrana and I did some Celestial Contacting this past week, and It has been awesome (I don´t have time to explain exactly what that is right now). We found some really solid people, we have been teaching a ton. We contacted a lady that told us she had lived in Utah for three years before just barely coming back to Mexico! We made an appointment for the next day with her, and we went and visited her. Elder Pastrana and I started teaching the Restoration, and we started to teach her about baptism. She got this huge grin on her face, and explained to us that she had already been baptized. We were like, ´but have you had the oppportunity to baptized in the way that Jesus Christ taught us?´ She said yes, in the LDS Church! haha. She told us she was too embarassed to tell us the day before, because she knew we didn´t know who she was because she´s been inactive for a good chunk of time. We invited her to come to the Chapel with us this coming Sunday, and she agreed. She´s a really awesome lady, very kind. She showed me a bunch of pictures from when she lived in Utah--pictures of Orem, Spanish Fork, and Salt Lake. It was so weird talking to someone who knew the area in which I used to live. She gave me a picture that she had taken of Bridal Veil Falls up in Provo Canyon. It´s sweet! It´s funny how things play out.

Welp, I don´t have much more to report. We´re still teaching the two young guys from the AA group who are really cool. We have a tentative baptismal date for the 27th of this month, as well as another investigator we have named Irais. We´ve also been teaching a really sweet mother and daughter, named Claudia and Angelica, who also have a baptismal date for the 27th. We´ve seen incredible improvement in this Area, and plan on seeing this desert flower blossom even more. Man, I´m poetic.

I love you all and I hope you are doing the greatest things ever!

Love, Elder Bood-hey (that´s how some people pronounce my name--i´ve embraced the fact that no one will ever be able to pronounce my name).

Monday, September 7, 2009

My first cycle is already over...crazy.

Hey everyone! I hope you´re doing well.

Because I am! This week has been hectic for us here in Atlicpac. We confirmed Daniela yesterday in Sacrament meeting, which was awesome, and we completed that family! It´s an awesome feeling. She´s doing great, she is going to baptisms for the dead on Thursday. I´m excited for her. She already wants to head to the baptismal font again. The Lord has allowed us to see tremendous miracles in this area.

This week has been hectic because Monday through Friday Elder Pastrana and I went to the City and We only had Saturday and Sunday to really work. Elder Pastrana has had some medical problems, so we went to the Federal District (that is what I refer to when I say ¨the City¨) a lot to have exams and all that good stuff. On Friday we had to go to a laboratory in order to get a Tomagraphy of his ear, which was actually pretty cool, apart from taking up all of our time last week. Nevertheless we had some good success on Satuday and Sunday; we have two new investigators who are really really cool, who have a baptismal date for the 20th of September. I´m really looking forward to that. An inactive member brought both of them to Church last Sunday; they´re part of an AA group, and have been searching for Religion. It´s awesome to see this sincere desire that they have to change their lives for the better--more than anything I could see in their eyes that they really wanted to find our Father in Heaven. I´m excited for both of them. 

There isn´t much else to report on... we´re head to the Federal District again to pick up the results from Elder Pastrana´s tomography--which will let us know how complicated the surgery is going to be (the fact that there will be surgery is inevitable). Pray for him, please. We don´t want it to interfere too much with the work.

I love you all, and I love the emails. Keep em coming. By the by, if you receive an Email from me, that means that you can reply to me through email as well. Thanks!

Elder Budge

Fotos: the Baptism of Daniela, Elder Pastrana and I with our rain gear (it has been raining like crazy here), and me doing some street magic for the enjoyment of the viewing public.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Hello everyone!

This week has been awesome and crazy. I might have to keep this letter short because we're heading to the City to go to the doctor. I'll try to be brief...but chances are I'll end up writing a lot. haha.

So this week has been sweet for a number of reasons. On Wednesday, I had exchanges with my District Leader, and we had a really really good time. He came over into my area, and my trainer went over to my DL's area. It was kind of like my 'test' or something like that. It went really really well--I didn't get us lost once! At the very very least I was grateful for that. We worked together really well and I got some sweet tips for how to work more effectively. He falls really well with me.

On Thursday, Elder Pastrana and I had to go to the Immigration Offices in Mexico City so I could sign some forms and leave some fingerprints and whathaveyou. It was cool because my roommates from the MTC had to go as well at the same time, so I got to see them. The only one who didn't go was my companion from the MTC, Elder Walk, because he had Zone Conference that day. Bummer. I was really looking forward to seeing him. But, life goes on, and so does the work. And did it ever.

We had been teaching an investigator named Daniela for the past week or so, and things had been going alright with her. She didn't really seem enthusiastic about it, and had a hard time answering some of the questions we would ask in our lessons. BUT, this past week we taught her twice, and she committed to being baptized. SWEET! So I baptized her yesterday, and she is doing just awesome. She goes to Seminary, and the Firesides on Sundays and all that good stuff. It was a really special experience for me, because she is the first person I've baptized that I've personally taught. I am really grateful that the Lord is allowing us to see such amazing miracles in our area. This is His work! We only need to be ready and willing to be His instruments in it. So yeah, that was awesome. It was funny becuase when we told her she could decide who would baptize her, she told us that I give her fear because I'm so serious all the time hahaha. She flipped a coin to decide, and it landed on the side of my Companion, but then she grabbed it and flipped it over so it would be on my side haha. I told her that I was going to have a really grumpy face in our picture when we baptized her. I guess I'm serious most of the time because we didn't really learn 'joking' spanish in the MTC. I'm working on it. I figure the least I can do is make some funny faces. 

Well, I don't have much to report; we're still getting a lot of new investigators, which is part of the miracles we've been seeing lately. Also, it's been raining like MAD lately. Saturday night we came home soaked to the bone--it was a good time. And by the by, our water boiler doesn't work, so we have to heat up water in buckets to bathe in the morning haha. Good times. Oh, and if you want to see where I spent my morning today, google Centro Historico in Mexico City--it's a ridiculously gorgeous part of Mexico City (in the South Mission) that looks a lot like Versailles to me. We went really early this morning with Elders Puch and Israelsen in the Subway; it was a blast. There's a huge temporary Dinosaur Museum in the middle of the plaza right now which was really really cool. Anywho. Lex, you would have loved it--there was a SWEEEET, huge Cathedral that was just beautiful inside.

Love you, hope you're doing great. Email me!

Elder Budge

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Be careful what you wish for...because you might get hugged by a drunk man

So this week was pretty awesome for a number of reasons. Last P-Day, Elder Pastrana and I headed to Aragón (the colony in which the Temple is) for my interview with the President. What an amazing man. Our interview went a little over time...but was just incredibly inspiring. We talked a lot about my difficulty with the language, and he made me some promises. He said: ''In our very first interview when you arrived, I promised you that the work was going to be difficult. And it has been; now I'm promising that you're going to learn the language faster than you can imagine. Do you believe me?" It's true; I absolutely trust every word he said. His first promise came true very very quickly. I'm excited for the next.

After my Interview, Elders Pastrana, Larsen, and Ramirez had the rest of the night to be in the heart of Meixco, DF. That city is just SWEEEEET. It's so huge! We went and saw the Angel of Independence (google it), which was pretty cool. Not too was just really really big. haha. Also, on the sidewalks of Mexico City are all these sweet sweet benches made of different things. It's hard to explain, I'll try to send pictures next week. Just fyi, I'm not in "Mexico City'' (other wise known as DF), but I am about an hour away from it. I'll be heading there again this Thursday to the Migration Offices. I don't know why yet--pray that I don't get deported hahaha.

So the reason for the title of this email is...well, a good story. So since the time I arrived, I've been hoping in the back of my mind to find someone that speaks English while contacting. Sometimes we knock on houses that have signs that say ''learn English here'' and things like that. But, to no avail. So thursday, we were stopped by a man who was just ridiculously drunk--he acted a lot like Jack Sparrow haha. He was telling us that he's a sinner and things like that. And then on Friday, we were introducing one of our investigators to some members that live near her, and we were stopped by two EXTREMELY drunk men (it was about 1 in the afternoon). One was asking us if we could help him stop drinking (in so many words), and the other was trying to get him to leave us alone. This other one starting talking to us as well, and then he realized that I wasn't understanding much of what he was saying. He said to me, "do you speak english?" (in English) and I said yes. He then started talking to me in English, asked me where I was from. I told him I was born in California, and then he kinda freaked out and yelled "I was born in California too! My brother!!" And then he came in real close and hugged me for like 10 seconds. Needless to say...I was uncomfortable, and I'm sure I smelled like Alcohol afterward. We left after a little dispute about why they couldn't come to our appointments with us, and I just thought, ''ok...maybe it's best if we just stick to Spanish.'' It was really funny...and made me wonder how all these drunk people are finding us recently haha.

Things in the work are improving; we had 7 investigators attend Sacrament meeting yesterday, which is a HUGE improvement. We have appointments with all but one this week, so we should have a productive week. Can't wait. Thanks for everything.

Elder Budge

Monday, August 17, 2009


Hey fam!

Crazy week. We had our Zone conference last wednesday, which was sweet, needless to say. President Bulloch and his wife are so sweeeeet. We had interviews with the President right after, and right as he and I started to interview, he suddenly had to go to the hospital. Yikes! He has some pretty bad kidney i'm heading over to Aragon (the colony where the Temple is) to interview today. Please pray for him that all will be well. Thanks!

So dad, real quick, my schedule is the normal missionary schedule, minus dinner. We don't really eat dinner because we're usually working. But i wake up at 6 30, personal study at 8, comp study at 9, language study at 10. From eleven to 2 we're proselyting, tracting, or going to appointments, if we have them. from about 2 to 3 we have La Comida (which is getting better now that everyone knows that i don't eat that much), then from 3 to 9 we're proselyting, going to appointments, tracting, everything. We have a list of former investigators that we try to visit, from when we review the area book. Every day is just a mix of everything. When we get home, I usually have a bowl of Zucaritas (mexican frosted flakes), we plan, I read a little from Jesus the Christ (amazing) and then we hit the hay. Not literally...haha.

Not much has really happened this week...we have 5 new investigators, none of which attended church this week. It's really tough when no one shows up. We're really praying to see miracles this week. Oh and we dropped Hirma and Lourdes because they have been avoiding our appointments...although they both have received an answer about the Book of Mormon. It's rough, they just told us they don't have to have to change their lives. Please keep them in your prayers that their hearts will change.

We have a new investigator named Jorge who is an alcoholic. He approached us while we were tracting and asked us if we could visit him after we were done talking to his neighbor. We did, and found he has had a rough life. Please pray for him so he can have the strength to do what is necessary. For his sake i'm not really including details.

Also we've been meeting with the neice of one of the members, who is really really cool. She has a couple of kids, and really has the desire to know the truth. She only lacks the motivation to follow through with the truth. Please pray for her as well. Her name is Magaly. Our visits with her are always, always awesome.

I really love everything here, there is no greater work on Earth. I'm definitely getting used to the culture here, and am really starting to love it. We just passed through a street market (called "Tiangi's") where they had some sweeeeet hand-made Marvel Heroes figures. I may have to invest. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Elder Budge

PS Mom, please let Jordan Crespo know that i would love to get an email from him. Por favor le da mi correo para que pueda hacerlo. Gracis como un monton!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Another week has passed...yikes.

Hello everyone!
I don´t have a whole lot of time so i´ll have to make it short. Dad, you wanted to know about my livings conditions, the different culture, etc., and Hirma and Lourdes. My living conditions: humble--i´ll send pictures, because it´s tough to explain. But we live above the stake patriarch, who´s a really nice guy. The truth is I really love our pink apartment. We really don´t need much to do the work. The culture is different in a lot of ways, mainly it´s the way things are said, how and where things are sold (like in the streets...I bought a sweet Nike knockoff watch today for 120 pesos---less than 12 USD.) Also we ride around in these VW vans called "combis", it´s like a bus, but a small VW van where everyone just piles in. it´s a good time. Also, there´s so much trash everywhere, and I always try to not litter, but there aren´t any trash cans ANYWHERE. So i usually have trash in my pockets or in my bag. Also, Mom, you´ll be glad to know that you aren´t alone in your "singing abilities"--no one hear can carry a tune. It´s awesome on Sundays because no one know how to play the piano in sacrament meeting, so we always sing a capella. Dad, you would get a kick out of it for sure. Nevertheless, I love it.
Lourdes and Hirma are having a hard time progressing--they canceled our last appointment, and haven´t been keeping their commitments. We have an appointment with them today, where we have to give the "charla franca"---the frank discussion. The standards for dropping investigators in this mission are steep. We may have to drop them. Which is always sad, but happens. We´re trying to do all we can, thank you for your prayers.
I had my first baptism yesterday, which was kind of crazy. The boy we baptized, Alexandro, wanted me to baptize him, which i thought was SWEET. Then i realized that I didn´t have the baptismal prayer memorized in Spanish. But all went well, and he was confirmed yesterday as well. I love it! Pray for the family Rosa Flores as well, the oldest son is baptized, and his mom wants to be baptized, but won´t unless the father is baptized as well. We know they both want to, and we know it would be a huge blessing for them if we could complete their family. Thanks!
So today we played some sweet soccer with our zone; i loved it. Our zone leaders are sweet, and everyone in our zone seems really cool. We have Zone Conference on wednesday, where I get my mail. I´m stoked! I love you all, don´t hesitate to send letters.
Love, Elder Budge

Monday, August 3, 2009

These Spanish keyboards are crazy...

Hello family!

Holy intense week! This week has been just crazy. Almost as crazy as this weird Spanish keyboard. It took me ten minutes to find the apostraphe key. Anywho, my trainer is named Elder Pastrana, he's sweet! He's really funny (as far as I can understand...maybe he isn't haha), and he's super obedient, and he doesn't speak english AT ALL--the three things I wanted in a trainer. We have been working crazy hard. I've never worked so hard or eaten so much. I'm having difficulty adapting to the culture, but other than that all is well. There are many things that are super different.

Every day we have "la comida" around 2 o clock, which is the largest meal of the day. And it is HUGE. It's usually three courses, and one serving of one course is big enough to feed all the kids in Rwanda. I can barely handle it, and my companion has 2 plates! It really is ridiculous. It was funny because yesterday we ate at a Sister's house (every Comida is provided by a ward member) and I was barely close to finishing the first course, and she said "i know comida is a new thing for you, it really is ok if you can't finish it, i won't be offended." I said okie dokie and she took the plate. Then she went and grabbed an entire plate of cut-up watermelon for me to eat! haha I thought "i couldn't even finish the first course...what makes you think i can begin the second?!" but, because i am so polite, i started eating it. Yikes. Now i always carry pepto-bismol with me. Seriously.

So to answer a question Elder David Budge asked me, we call the disobedient missionaries "fritos" and the ones who don't work at all "muertos". Highlights of the week: Elder Pastrana and I were contacting in a colony called "Tecamachulca", and we just weren't having any success at all. After another rejection, I told him we should pray to find someone who was willing to listen. He looked at me like I was crazy and said "what do you mean? Like, right now? We already prayed when we left the house." And said, "well, let's pray again so we can find someone to teach". And then he said "I guess...if you want." Ha it was awesome. So I prayed, in English, that we could find someone. Afterward he said "Well...that was my first prayer in the street." But, lo and behold, we found an AWESOME lady just a few houses away from where we were who invited us in to teach. We taught her and her mom, named Lourdes and Hirma, respectively. It was awesome. We visited her again on Saturday, taught her about tithing and how our church is organized and such, and she loved it. She thought it was sweeeet the way our church is set up. Which is true! We visited her again on Sunday, but she said she was too busy to come to church. Bummer. But she wants to come next week, and Elder Pastrana and I both feel impressed that she will be baptized. So yeah. Worth every blister on my feet (and there are plenty...).

I've learned some useful phrases that I hear all the time here among the members. My favorite is when members turn to my companion and say " he's from utah? but he looks mexican...". haha I picked up on that one pretty quickly. It happens at least once a day. I also know now why Mom always has lemon in her water, because EVERY comida we have smashed-up lemons in our water, and on everything else. And it's funny because we're in an extremely humble part of the city, but as soon as you walk into someone's home, you can always find a really, really, nice stereo with a bazillion other speakers in the house. It's really funny.

To give you an idea of what my area is like, or rather the entire mission, I'll share something President Bullock shared with me. He said, "If this mission was New York City, we would be in the Bronx and Brooklyn". Yep. And our area is on the humbler end of the spectrum. But I love it. Melissa would absolutely hate it here. haha.

I have a lot more to say, but alas, I have to go to la comida. To stuff myself silly. I love all of you, and hope you're doing well. By the by, I receive mail every two weeks at Zone Conference. Just a heads up. :)

LOVE, Elder Budge

PS- Wal-Mart here is CRAZY!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'M GOING TO ATLANTA!!!...then Mexico.

Hey! You!

So, as you may or may not be able to tell, I got my flight plans this past week! Ridiculous! I can't wait, I will be in the Salt Lake airport exactly a week from now. I can't believe it. So, home, I will be calling you from the airport somewhere between 8am and 11am--cancel every plan you have during that time on next Monday, the 27th, so you can be there when I call. I also have a 2 and half hour lay over in Atlanta, GA, so if I don't get the opportunity to call in the morning, I'll call in the afternoon. Basically I need you to sit at home and wait for me to call. Maybe all day. But anyway, I'm stoked! I can't believe it's already here. Anyway, besides that, my week has been awesome.

Elder Walk and I went to the RC on tuesday, as usual, but this past week was especially awesome. I was readily available at the phone, waiting to receive inbound calls and chats while Elder Walk was making a number of outbound calls to no avail. Although, he does consider it a success when they have Ring-Back tones, haha. But anyway, all of the sudden I get a phone call. I answer it. It's this girl named April from Houston, Texas. I teach her almost the entire Plan of Salvation over the phone. It was sweeeeeeet!! She has some friends who are members, was browsing, and just decided to call. I was awesome. I got a teeny tiny taste of doing missionary work with an actual investigator, and it was incredible. It was the best feeling in the world. Anywho, we made a return appointment for the same time the next day (Wednesday), but she never called in again. I was bummed. But all in all, it was a really good experience. And thus it is.

Elder Walk and I taught our Progressing Investigator again this past week, it was sweet. He's been living the Word of Wisdom, and we taught him the Law of Chastity because he and his girlfriend live together. We left him a pamphlet and a commitment to study and obey the law with his girlfriend. Then, I saw him in passing later in the week, and he told me his girlfriend is pregnant! It's so awesome! Obviously, we're going to teach him about marriage and the like. I'm excited. This week has been crazy exciting. Esta obra vale la pena.

So my District is just awesome. We always say American sayings in Spanish that do not translate at all, and our teacher is always really confused all the time. Haha it's awesome. We always say "¿Qué en el mundo?!" Which in English means, "What in the world?!"...but it really doesn't mean anything in Spanish. We love our American Dichos. We said it to some Mexican natives the other day and they were so so confused. It's really funny. I love learning the culture, we learn Mexican sayings in Spanish all the time.

Oh yeah! I forgot, up until this very instant that I have another amazing story to share. So my Branch President (who is ridiculously amazing) brough me a Kit-Kat and said it was from his wife. I didn't know why she wanted me to have it, and neither did he. So President Dean pulls out his cell phone and calls his wife. She answered the phone and he handed it to me! It was crazy! I haven't spoken on a telephone, let alone a cell phone, in two months! I was extremely happy about it. Turns out she felt bad because I was in an interview when she brought cake to the Branch for her birthday. Both President and Sister Dean are amazing people.

Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. I love all of you! Family, I will talk to you next Monday!

Love, Elder Budge

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hey again!

Hello all!

I hope everything is going well! This week has been pretty sweet, needless to say. Not really with events or anything...I've just felt pretty fulfilled.

Elder Walk and I started teaching a progressive investigator in the Teaching Resource Center last Tuesday, and it's been awesome. He's tough, knows the Bible really well, but is receptive to the things that we're teaching. He drinks and smokes, and we asked him to not to do so when we came to visit. He got kind of offended, but respected our desire. His girlfriend also lives with him, so we're going to work on the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity along with the Plan of Salvation this Tuesday (tomorrow). He said he would invite his girlfriend to join us in our next lesson, but it is unlikely that she will come. His name is Mario (Hno. Shulca). We're excited. Having a progressive investigator is really helping Elder Walk and I to focus our daily and weekly goals on our purpose, which is to invite others to come unto Christ. So it's fun. Hno. Shulca is one of my favorite teachers here at the MTC. It's a really realistic experience for us to have.

Elder Walk and I had the opportunity to go to the temple again this morning, and it just keeps getting better. I love learning in the House of the Lord.

I really don't have much else to talk about...I heard Cory Beighley is back, I don't have his e-mail address but I really really want to get in contact with him. Oh and Mom, I forgot to mention last week that the author of "The Work and the Glory" series spoke at our devotional last week, he was awesome. I thought you'd enjoy hearing that :)

So I've been reading the Book of Mormon like mad this past week and half or so. It's crazy, I've never read the Book of Mormon this quickly, and I've never realized how small the Book is. I read all of Helaman and half of 3 Nephi yesterday, and it's amazing. It's been pressed upon me lately to do the opposite of what the Nephites were doing at this point in the Book of Mormon--they only would repent and praise God when bad things were happening, and scorned the Prophets that testified of their iniquity when they were lifted up in the Pride of our hearts. It's so important to heed the Lord's council through His prophets during prosperous times as well as in times of humility.

Anywho, I love you all, I hope you are all doing well. And I hope to hear from YOU very soon! You know who you are! I leave the MTC in 2 do not procrastinate the day of your letter-writing.

Elder Budge

Monday, July 6, 2009

I have 3 weeks left. Whoa.

Hello family and you other ones!

This past week has been the most incredible week of the Mission so far. I don't even know where to start. Actually, I do know where to start, I just felt like using that expression. I'll start at the beginning.

So last Monday I got to spend 3 and half hours cleaning the Provo temple! It was sweet, and weird. But mostly sweet. They keep that Temple--and every Temple, I'm sure--ridiculously clean. We were using q-tips and toothpicks to clean stuff. It was awesome. We had a really good time. Nothing but the best for the Lord, right? Right.

On Tuesday Elder Walk and I had an awesome time at the Refferal Center. We were chatting with this guy on and he was saying all this stuff about how when we ask people to pray about the Book of Mormon, it proves that the BOM is false because people don't need to pray about the Bible to know it's the word of God. Then he was talking about all these different alterations that have been made since the 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon (You can read about the alterations on > Gospel Topics > "Book of Mormon, changes to"). He was saying the BOM wouldn't need changes if it was the 'most correct book' on Earth. The thing he didn't realize (and refused to realize) is that the 'most correct' does not mean 'grammatically perfect.' There were many HUMAN errors made while transcribing the spoken translation, when the printer set the type for the publication, and for other reasons. It doesn't change our need to have Faith in Christ, repent, be baptized by those who have His authority, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end. The principles of Christ's Gospel have never and will never change. The man wouldn't except our simplest invitation: to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know of its truthfulness. The witness of the Holy Ghost is infinitely more powerful than the interpretation of Anti-Mormon groups. Obviously his intention was not to seek Divine Truth. How tragic. Maybe one day, as Alma the Younger did, he'll have a change of heart and bring many into a knowledge of the truth. The Lord prepares the hearts of men on His own time.

So later in the week Elder Walk and I had amazing teaching opportunities. The experiences we had with teaching (in Spanish) are very personal and sacred, but I wanted to let you know that the Gift of Tongues is very very very very very real, and I have been abundantly blessed with the opportunity to share the Gospel in the Spanish Language. I honestly don't know why we even taught in English in the first place haha. I like teaching in Spanish a lot more, and I think Elder Walk feels the same. I am so blessed to have him as my companion, and we're so blessed to have the Holy Ghost as our "Senior Companion".

So the 4th of July was pretty sweet here at the good ol' MTC. We ended all our classes and meetings at 7 on Saturday, and had a Devotional. Outside the Devotional, Sister Kenzi Allen and I had a pretty lengthy discussion about the MTC and Spanish and things like that. She's learning a different dialect of Spanish ( I can't remember what it's called) and it has weird different verb conjugations and stuff. It's pretty trippy. She refused to bear her testimony in Spanish though haha. But anywho, we went into the Devotional, and it was about the Reformers, the Founders of the United States, and how they set the Stage for the Restoration of the Gospel. It really is incredible how perfectly timed every event was (what else would you expect...God is perfect). Afterward, we all got to go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks, which was awesome. I have a bunch of good pictures that i'll be sending this week. Luckily, we're perfectly distanced from Lavell Edwards stadium, because we could see the fireworks really well, but couldn't hear the Jonas Brothers play. Those are two ingredients that make for one fantastic Independence Day.

I love all of you, and I hope to hear from you very soon.

Elder Budge

Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 5!


This week has been AMAZING! So many things are happening, have happened, and will happen. So, this past weekend, all of the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency were here. It was incredible! They came for New Mission Presidents Seminar, which has been taking place since wednesday. Holy cow. It has been awesome. We had a devotional on friday night, and Elder Holland spoke. Holy incredible. Elders Bednar, Cook, Andersen, Perry, Oaks, Scott, and Christofferson were all on the stand as well! 8 Apostles of Jesus Christ! I cannot describe the feeling and the Spirit that existed in that room. It was awesome because I'm in the MTC Choir and I was sitting in the 2nd Row. I've never been so close to that many Apostles. El sentimiento no admite descripcion. It was sweet because we got to just walk past everyone that had been waiting 2 hours to get into the Devotional, so I felt like a VIP. It was sweet.

So, Elder Holland's talk was amazing. We constantly hear that we need to teach with the Spirit, and if we don't have the Spirit, we're commanded to not teach. But, Elder Holland shared some incredible insights on the subject. After we sang, he actually said "Well...I may as well give the benediction and go home. If there has ever been a Devotional moment, that was it." My favorite principle that he taught (out of many...I have 4 pages of notes) is that the Holy Ghost is our connection to God's Heavenly realm. We teach by the Spirit so that OUR lessons become HIS lessons. Only the Spirit of the Lord can lift people out of the Temporal World, take them towards the Godhead, and eventually to their own Godhood. Through the Holy Ghost, we bring God's presence into the homes of our investigators. Elder Holland said that it is because of the Holy Ghost that our investigators realize, IN SPITE of us Missionaries, that our message and mission is Divine. That really hit me hard because I really think so highly of so many missionaries here in the MTC, but we're all so full of imperfections. We need the Holy Ghost to have people look past our imperfections and our broken Spanish to know that this message comes from Heaven. It comes from the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What a blessing.

The Spanish is coming along really really well, I taught the new District grammar last week, and I'm teaching them tonight as well. It's sweet because I learn a lot as I teach the new District. I'm teaching again tonight, so I'm pumped. Conjugating verbs in the Past Subjunctive Tense is oodles of fun.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities that God has given us. We have such a great responsibility. It is up to us to fulfil the promises that Father has given all of His spirit children--he has trusted us to provide bodies for His children. We would not be able to progress without the things that Father has given us--we would just exist as we always had before. God is so great in his mercy and love. He gave His son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins so we can become perfected like Him. I want to be like God and Jesus Christ. I can't wait to share this message with His children.

I love all of you. I love hearing from you.

Les Amo Muchisimo.

Elder Budge

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Week...4? I Think...

Querido Familia!

Como estan? ...Good to hear! As always...this week has been intense! I always look forward to Mondays when I can share my experiences of the week. Buckle up because it's SWEET!

So earlier this week our teacher Brother Harrington shared with us his experience at the MTC. He was kind of a trouble maker, kind of like a few of us are in the District...and he just told us about what changed him and stuff. I'll spare you the details, but the main point is that he came out of the MTC being able to say literally whatever he wanted in Spanish. He's such a good example, all of us in the District can related to him really well. Plus he's way tight, we all think he wears Tall T's and gangsta clothes outside the MTC haha. I'm grateful for him.

Elder Walk and I had a SWEET experience at our Teaching Appointment this week. We taught our investigator the Plan of Salvation, and invited him to be Baptized. He turned us down, but wanted to learn more. That was the first time I had ever experience sincere devastation. I couldn't imagine turning away from such a wonderful opportunity, it was right there for him. (Of course...he's already a member and a teacher at the MTC...but still.) Even knowing that, Elder Walk and I both expressed honest disappointment, we were both broken hearted. But it was an excellent learning experience for when we're in the field--no matter how well we teach and how much the Spirit testifies to hearts of investigators, the Lord always allows them their agency, or ability to choose, between YES and NO. It was muy bien.

Brother Harrington headed off to Wyoming or something this weekend so we've had a couple of substitutes and they were RAD. We had Brother Silva, from Brazil, and he was incredibly smart. We had like an hour long discussion on our Existence before we came to Earth, and it was just incredibly stimulating. I love the deep doctrine of this Church, and I love the simplicity of its teachings. Its ability to be simple truly is a huge testament of the Power that it contains. We also had Brother Schulpa, who was a professional soccer player in Ecuador. He's super legit, he had a lot of good stuff to teach us as well. He taught us how to teach others to pray in Spanish (all of our prayers, personal and companion, are in Spanish). It was sweet, to say the least. Good times.

Elder Walk and I spent Saturday night in the Refferal Center, calling investigators who order different things (like the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Finding Faith in Christ, etc.) from, and we had such a good time. He's so funny when we do that, because between every call he's like, "YOU HAD SALVATION RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! COME ON!" it's just so hilarious. And so true. He called this 17 year old girl in Washington that ordered the "Finding Happiness" DVD (the call lists are random) and her friend answered the phone. Her friend said she wasn't interested in religious things, but wasn't sure if she had received it. Elder Walk said "Well...if she did receive it, maybe you two could watch it together...ya know, make a night of it." The girl on the other end just laughed and hung up. Maybe you just had to be there...because it was funny. Anyway.

The MTC is amazing, and I'm so excited to go out to the field. I love all of you, and I hope you're doing well (there is a way to let me know if you're doing well...ya know, letters). Haha Elder David Budge makes fun of me for mentioning so much, but it truly is the best!

Remember that God and His Son love you!

Les amo con todo mi corazon.

Elder Budge

PS-Miranda, I sent you an E-mail. It's important, so read it! Por favor!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Creators, not Creatures

Hello family! and friends!

What's up! Good to hear from so many of you, it has been so great. I love hearing from all of you. A few quick things: Tia Dina, I can't reply to your e-mail because I am only allowed to send e-mails to brothers, sisters, and parents. But know that I loved what you wrote, it means worlds to me. Send me a letter with your return address and I'll definitely write you back. Eric Nielsen! I cannot e-mail you back but just know that I love you and all your Portreguese-ness. I still can't understand it. Send me una carta and i'll send one right back atcha. Mom, it's great to get those e-mails forwarded from Derek and Jordan, but I'm not allowed to read them technically, and I must obey with exactness. Just for future reference. Things might be different in the field, just FYI. Thank you, Mom, for forwarding these e-mails to all of our family and my friends. I love you.

Ok, this week. SO AWESOME. For real. So in our Monday night class, our amazing Maestra Hermana Scaife taught us some awesome principles (as she always does). We were discussing responsibility and accountability, and how sometimes we let the actions of others become our excuses for failing to fulfill our responsibilities. She mentioned a principle taught by one of the quorum of the 12. He said to be "A Creator of circumstance rather than a creature of circumstance." How sweet! We cannot let the actions of others affect our responsibilities as saints and as missionaries. We must be in control of those that we have stewardship over and allow ourselves to complete the things the Lord would have us do, regardless of what others do or say. Awesome. So on tuesday, my buddy came to give a devotional at the MTC. You may know him, his name is Elder David A. Bednar. Yeah. That one. He gave an incredible talk about how to recognize whether or not the things we are directed to do come from the Holy Ghost or from our own thoughts. His answer to that question is as powerful as it is simple. Don't worry about it! Get over it and get to work. As long as we're following the commandments and being good boys and girls, we just act and the Holy Ghost will guide us. The way the Lord learns to trust us is by acting by faith, and as we are worthy of that Companionship, our thoughts and actions will be aligned with what the Savior wants, regardless of whether we recognize it as such or not. How powerful, right?! I know it was an answer to my prayers, as I have been struggling to know whether the promptings I receive during our Teaching Appointments with investigators are my own thoughts or the Holy Ghost. I'm learning to tell my brain to quit thinking so much about it and just open my mouth. He tells an awesome story that I don't have time to tell, but just know that it was hilarious, and awesome, and Spiritual. I'll tell you about it sometime.

It was awesome because I sat next to Elder Conrad Southworth during that devotional last tuesday. It was sweet. I was lucky to find him because security was pretty beefy. It'll get even more intense next weekend when the 12 Apostles and the 1st Presidency are here for New Mission President Conference!!! Oh yeah!!

I also got to see Sister Kenzi Allen this past Wednesday as she entered the MTC. It was awesome, she'll be a killer missionary, and I saw her last night at the MTC Fireside. It's awesome to have so many friends engaged in the same great work.

I love you all. Keep up the good work. Send letters! Food! DearElders! They're always welcome.

Elder Budge

MTC Mailbox 259, departure date 0727

Monday, June 8, 2009

Week 2!

Hello family!

I have no idea where to start. This week has been absolutely insane. First, Mom that's sweet that you and Mommy Martha got to go to the temple a few times this week. Provo Temple is way pretty, I've been twice since I've been here. I go to the 7am session every Monday, and as you can guess, my P-Day is Monday. So make sure you're checking your e-mail on Mondays around 11 or 12. That's usually when I do laundry and e-mail and stuff. Also, remember to forward THIS email to Melissa, Mandy, Josh, Panda, Grandma & Grandpa, all our cousins and aunts and Alexa ( And remember I can get DearElders and regular mail EVERYDAY, so don't hesitate to write me whenever you feel like it :)

Ok, Panda, I'm sending you a different SD card, one I know that works. Be timely in your response, por favor! I love that you have a DearElder account now, that's so sweeeet! I want to hear from you often, because you're my favorite little sister! Truly! Es verdadero!

Mandy--so was that thing on my postcard un television o un hombre? Los dos? Anyway, I'm glad it got to me, I'm sure it had hard time getting here from 1987 ;) That's sweet that you and Eli are moved back to Utah, where you belong. I've been praying for your job hunt, let me know how it goes. works the day of. Ha.

Josh! I need to hear from you! I wrote you a letter last week, so I hope you got it. It's pretty sweet, if I do say so myself. And i do. I wanna know what you're doing with your life with football, I don't know when training and stuff starts but an update every now and then would be awesome.

Melissa! Thanks for the DearElder, I plan on writing you a letter today during the rest of my P Day (Monday), so expect one within the next couple of days. It definitely put a big smile on my face. Tell Jason he's great, because he is. Also he is very good looking. Haha.

Ok, so this week, like I said, has been crazy. Lots of ups and downs. It's getting easier and easier to recognize when I do and don't have a companionship of the Holy Ghost, and I constantly strive for the former. Things just have been a little difficult. Mi compañero Elder Walk has been sick, and earlier in the week we had a hard time getting him real attention. We went to the MTC clinic on Thursday, but because he didn´t have the flu they just sent him on his way. It really is no bueno. Pray for him. But while I was waiting outside of the clinic for him, I talked to a couple of missionaries. One was a Chilean Elder who was learning English, and it was cool because he was speaking English to me and I was speaking Spanish to him (mas o menos). It was awesome. We bore our testimonies to each other and it was really sweet. Then I met a Sister Evans, who is the daughter of the new Stake President in Tokyo (The stake that Todd was President of) and she said she had met Janna while she (Sister Evans) was living in Tokyo. She bore her testimony is Japanese and I bore mine in Spanish. Also very cool. So anyway, Elder Walk and I went to the BYU Student Health Center on Saturday, got him some prescriptions and went to Rite Aid in Provo to pick them up. It was weird being outside of the MTC around normal people. Missionaries are far from normal, that is for sure. Anywho, the Spanish is coming along awesomely, actually my Maestra has me teaching our new District that came in last wednesday. I´m going to be teaching Grammar and things like that, and I´ll be working in the Tutoring Center helping struggling Elders. It´s pretty awesome. I can say a lot, and I understand almost everything when we have Teaching Appointments with Spanish Speaking investigators. El don de Lenguas es verdado, y el Espíritu ayudame mucho. El Señor me da bendiciones todos los dias. It´s great. Mom, I understood what you wrote in your email before you translated, just by the by :). Also, I would encourage ALL of you to write emails, because I can receive and reply to emails from immediate family members, but remember that I can only read and write emails on Mondays for a half hour, and I can receive letters and DearElder letters everyday. I also can only write letters on Mondays, but I love getting mail during the week. Will you commit to writing me sincere letters often? Gracias. A lot of the time I need the happiness. I don't think I'm forgetting anything, I love the work, y yo amo la Iglesia. Jesucristo y Dios viven, y Jesucristo murió para todo el mundo. Dios restauró su Evangelio y su Sacerdocio a través José Smith. Dios nos ama. Somos sus hijos, y Él es nuestro Padre Celestial. Te amo mucho, mi familia.My

Mailbox : #259 My Departure Date: 7/27

Love, Elder Budge

Thursday, June 4, 2009

You can write Jake in the Provo MTC for free. After you've entered the site (, click on "Write a Letter" on the top menu bar. On this page select "Provo MTC" from the drop down menu and click "Write a Missionary." The program will have you fill in the information you would normally write on an envelope. Jake's information is the following:

Elder Jacob Budge
MTC Box # 259
Mexico Mexico City East
Estimated MTC Departure date: July 27, 2009

Follow the rest of the instructions. Give it a try! It's free and easy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My First Week! No Letters!

Hola familia!

This week has brought a lot of changes. I'm adjusting to the sleep schedule pretty well, mainly because I work myself to exhaustion everyday, and I'm always dead tired when I get to my 'hotel' and get to bed. First, my companion is RAD. His name is Elder Will Walk, he's from Farmington. He knows a lot of my friends that live up there, which is SWEET. Dad, you would love him, he constantly makes references to Seinfeld, it's his favorite show. We get a kick out of the reverse-peepholes that we have in our classroom. Ha and we're big fans of saying "LA PUERTA ES ABIERTA!". Classic. Anyway, I have the best maestros in the world, it's ridiculous. Hermana Scaife is one of them, and she's one of the most incredible people I have ever met. She constantly has the Spirit with her, and the way she teaches is awesome. She hates speaking English, so i'm definitely feeling the immersion. She is tight, to say the least. My other teacher is Hermano Harrington, he served in Sacramento Spanish-speaking, and his experiences there are so awesome. He translates for us, so a lot of the Elders tend to lean towards his classes a bit more. Ha. But Hermana Scaife is easily the best teacher I've ever had for anything. As you may or may not have heard, I'm District Leader, so that's pretty crazy. I'm a little busy. Wanna hear something embarassing? k. So as DL I go and pick up the mail twice a day...and I haven't received a single letter. Or anything else. Which is great. I have no idea why, but for some reason there's never any mail for Elder Budge. You have my address right? Mom and Dad, you should have received a letter from me last week, with my return address. I'm being as patient as I can. Mom, remember I need my contacts ASAP, my old ones are driving me crazy. Miranda and Josh, I'm sending you letters this week; and Panda, I have a special job for you to do, I'll explain in the letter. But yeah, things are great here, the CCM is such an amazing place, my companion and I get along perfectly. We are so blessed to be able to feel the Spirit as much as we do. Herman Scaife shared something awesome with us last week. She shared Ether 4:6 with us, and related the Stones to the burdens we have everyday. I advise you to read that verse over and over again, I have a page of profound principles from the one verse, which is absolutely incredible. I am Blessed. But I could still use some letters :)I love all of you, have an excellent week, and I'll try to have more details in my e-mail next week. Don't forget to send letters! I can receive them and read them everyday of the week, so don't be shy. is pretty awesome too, and easy. So there ya go. Again, I love you all. Thanks for everything.

-Elder Budge

Elder Jacob Aaron Budge
MTC Mailbox #259
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793

PS- Alexa, send me a letter so I have your home address, I have something awesome to send you. and Mom, forward this e-mail to all of our family, including Melissa and Mandy, and these email addresses:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Enter the MTC

Elder Budge entered the Provo Missionary Training Center today at 11:30 am. He was taken by his dad, mom, sister Miranda, and brother Josh. E. Budge will be there until July 27th (if all goes to plan with his visa). He'll be learning the spanish language. Don't forget to write him! His MTC address is posted to the right.

Make sure you let all of your friends who know Elder Budge about his website here. We will be posting all of his letters (and hopefully) a few pictures here too!

P.S. If you have any pictures from Elder Budge's open house this past weekend, I'd like a copy if possible. I'd like to make a collage for him to have when he comes back. Leave a comment with your email address and I'll get a hold of you. Thanks!