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!