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 "¿QuĂ© 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