Monday, April 26, 2010

Oreo McFlurries...make me feel fat.

Hey family!
Thanks for letting me now how things are going on the homfront--sounds like everyone's super busy. That's really good to hear. I can't believe John and Jeremy already graduated from BYU. Time FLIES! Especially in Mexico. So John's headed back to Texas, that's pretty sweet, but not as sweet as Jeremy staying in good ol' PROVO! Man, I love that place. That's awesome that Miranda's running for Student Council...and did the SNL skit of Will Ferrel as a cheerleader! Just like your big brother, aren't you?! I'm sure she'll win the election...who can deny that beautiful face? Sounds like everyone had a good weekend with the parties and everything else. Everyone happy? Good!
This week was a pretty slow one for Elder Soza and I we had a lot of junk we had to do, so we really didn't have all of the time we would normally have to go proselyting. On Wednesday, we had an awesome Zone Conference, and the Zone Leaders taught us about the importance of investigators fulfilling their commitments as a sign of their faith and their sincere desire to repent. I've always been of the opinion that if the investigators can't keep the simple commitment of reading a pamphlet and praying, much less are they going to keep the covenant of Baptism, and much much much less the Covenants we take upon ourselves in the Temple! So if they don't read the first time, we give them time to read right then and there. And if they don't read the second time--well, we hope the missionaries have success in the future. At first, I thought it was a little unfair that we have such high standards for investigators, but I am completely converted to the idea that God has prepared THOUSANDS of people to be baptized in every area. The time we have is so short (eleven months aleady?!?! WHAT?!?!), and really the time isn't ours to waste. So we stick with the elect.
After our Zone Conference, I talked to President Bulloch about moving, because we've had a lot of problems with members coming to our house asking for favors and things like that. So we got permission to start looking for a new house, and the next day we had one ready to go. So that took a lot of time away from us. But we found a SWEET house (with an oven and a stove! Can you believe it?!?!), so we're figuring out the details and we'll be moving in on Saturday.
Like I said, we didn't have a lot of time this week to proselyte, so we were only able to find one new investigator during the week. Bummer. AND, she didn't go to Church, so we had to leave her as well. BUT, I believe the Lord saw our efforts of the past week, and decided to reward us a little bit by bringing people to Church by Himself. A young guy was sitting outside the Church when we came and asked the members if he could come to Church with us! It was sweet. We also received several referrals from the members and have a good week lined up. We'll see if this tree yields some FRUIT! I'm thinking it will.
Anywho, that's about all I have to report. We went to the mall today and I ate a McFlurry at McDonald' I feel really bloated and need to head home to relax and write some letters. Thanks for everything, I sincerely hope and pray that all is well in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, and that Healthcare hasn't gone completely down the drain. Love you all.
Elder Budge

Monday, April 19, 2010

Say it with me, " IX-TAH-PAH-LOO-KAH "

Hellloo Family!
It's so good to hear from all of you! And when I say "all of you" I really mean Mom, and Dad...but they pretty much tell me what everyone else is doing too. Dad, it sounds like it's good to be back in the US of A...eating delicious hamburgers and milkshakes! You should go to Burger King and eat a tasty chocolate milkshake for me...I have yet to find a good milkshake here in Mexico. Dang. I can't believe John and Jeremy and Josh Louder are already graduating from college! It's crazy how fast time flies by. But sounds like Todd and Lori are going to be pretty busy these next few weeks. I can't wait to party in that house again! We'll have to play "Sardines" again when I get back.
Yes mom, I got my new specs, thanks! They're super comfy and...well they help me see. That really was the goal when I went glasses shopping last Monday. Mission accomplished. And yeah, I'm getting to know my new companion really well...he's awesome! We're like two peas in a pea-holder. We both have a really sarcastic sense of humor, and we both love working really hard...and the best part is, we're both madly in love with the same girl. Her name is BAPTISM...and we get to see her very often. But yeah, I guess he's lived back and forth between the United States and Mexico pretty much his whole life, so that's why he speaks english (technically he's American...because his mom crossed the border so he could be born in Texas!) haha. But yeah, we're having a blast out here in Los Heroes, and we had some pretty sweet adventures this past week!
So our main focus this past week was Adriana and her two kids, Oswaldo and Valeria. I don't remember if I already told you about them, but they're a referral we received from a Sister in the ward my second or third day here in the area...but anyways, they're really really awesome, and the past week we spent most of our time (at least once a day) visiting them, because we had their baptism planned for yesterday. So we teached everythang that needed to be teached and we set up their interviews for Wednesday night with Elder Walk. (I forget to tell you last week, Elder Walk, my companion from the MTC is our District Leader!! It's so sweet!!). Oswaldo and Valeria passed with flying colors, but Elder Walk told us we had to have a Special Interview for Adriana, but we wouldn't be able to have it until Sunday! He said he would let us know the details the next day to find out when and where. So we called him the next day, and he told us that the interviews were going to be in Ixtapaluca (you pronounce it just like it looks...), which was my first Zone. In other words...a good three hours away. And we had to get there by 12 o clock...but Sacrament meetings starts here at 10 o clock. So you can imagine that Sunday was way stressful for us. We finally found someone to take us on Sunday morning, we went to Sacrament meeting for ten minutes, and then started our road trip to Ixtapaluca!
Long story short, (I say that a lot, don't I?) we got to the interviews at 12 30ish, got her in the interview after waiting another hour for President Parra (counselor in the Mission Presidency) to get out of another meeting, and she passed! It was sweeet. We headed home, had the baptismal service at 7 o clock last night, and had a nice little visit with our girlfriend, Baptism. It was so awesome to see that the Lord had arranged everything so perfectly for Sunday...after many days of not being able to see the solution. I was pretty stressed out...but kept working and working and searching for a solution, and when Sunday morning came, in a matter of minutes the Lord had provided us with the means we needed in order to accomplish the task we had in front of us.
Everyone, please always remember that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. It's His Church. He knows what's going on and He can help us, always always, if we have the faith to motivate us to action, and we exercise our faith as a principle of power. President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of our loving Heavenly Father. That is true.
Anyway, other than that we had a pretty normal week. On Saturday we had a sweet Stake Activity with the Young Men and Young Women...we taught English in different classes and the Youth rotated through our classes in groups. It was sweet. I gave out treats so I'm pretty sure everyone liked my class about the First Article of Faith the best.
Send letters! Send packages! Emails! Ties! Socks! and of course...lots and lots of love.
Elder Budge

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Heroes, Tecamac!

Hellllooooooo! La La La...
Hey Family! This is your favorite missionary Elder J. A. Budge...checking in from Los Heroes, Tecamac! Yep, I had changes (transfers..) last tuesday and now I'm with my new companion. A bunch has happened this week so get ready--this email is going to be pretty sweet! And maybe a little long.
So on Tuesday Elder Escobar and I headed to Aragon (the temple) with my bags packed and my shoes tied to receive our new companions. I got transferred to a SWEET area with a SWEET companion, whose name is Elder Sammy Soza. It's not really Sammy Soza...just Elder Soza, but that's what I call him. He's awesome--has three months in the mission and his green energy is super contagious. When I sat next to him at the changes meeting, he turned to another Elder and starting speaking English! I said, "Whoa! My first american companion?!" And he said "nope, I'm mexican! I thought you were my first mexican companion!" It was pretty funny. Turns out he's from Casas Grandes (Colonia Juarez) Chiuahua, but has lived in the U.S. as well...he went back forth a lot. I still don't know the whole story there so I'll let yall know as soon as I know. But he speaks english really well so it's been a blast...we speak a TON of Spanglish during the day.
So we got to the area and started working right away. This is the NICEST area I've been in so far--not a single dirt road! The area reminds me a lot of Southern California, so I feel right at home. We live in a section called "La Sexta" (the sixth) and every single house is exactly the same, like a huge, gigantic group of condos. It makes it a little confusing for me to learn how to get around...but I'm getting there. The Bishoprick here is EXCELLENT and really really willing to help us out in anyway they can (the first counselor offered to buy me some new shoes...mine are pretty torn up from my last two areas) and sometimes they buy us boxes of cereal and stuff like that. It's sweeeeet.
So this past week we decided to figure out what we could do to baptize our first week together. Turned out that my companion and his Dad had a lot of investigators that had more than enough times at Church to be baptized, so we decided to round them up and get them in Baptismal Interviews. On Wednesday and Friday we had 5 baptismal interviews...but to no avail. The people passed their interviews...but flaked out at the last second. It was kind of a bummer, but we did find a new family, and they have their baptism scheduled for this coming Sunday. Their names are Adriana, Oswaldo, and Valeria. They're SWEET, so we'll continue to teach them, have their interview set up for this week and have their baptism on Sunday.
Saturday night we had an interesting one AM, we heard our doorbell buzzing and someone was shouting at our front door. My companion went downstairs (yes...we live in an AWESOME two-story house...que fresa...) and one of his old comanion's recent converts had gotten our first door open and was trying to get into our house! He said he needed "help" and that he had already gone to the bishop's house but they didn't open the door to him either. My companion told him to leave and he just sat there at our front door and eventually left. It was kind of crazy.
But anyway...that's all I really have to report. Mom, I received the package you sent, THANK YOU family for all the things you sent (including my "new" ties) but Panda, you said you sent your school picture but it wasn't there. Geez.
Hasta luego!
Elder Budge

Monday, April 5, 2010


Hello Family!
Porque decis vosotros que nuestro Dios y Padre ha cesado de ser un Dios de Milagros? Ciertamente Dios dejaria de ser Dios si cambiara en Su naturaleza y las cosas que El afectua entre los hijos de los hombres!
This week has been absolutely full of miracles! This cycle has been an absolute rough one for us, but what has kept us alive is our consistency in working hard and staying anxiously engaged in the work of the Lord. In Priesthood session of General Conference this past weekend, Elder Uchtdorf spoke of patience--and that has been what has kept Elder Escobar and I (for the most part) sane during these rought weeks. I add my testimony to his that the greatest personal growth is experienced in waiting rather than in receiving. We never stopped working. We never stopped being obedient. We never came home at night and said "Oh..we can just do our planning tomorrow during companionship study...". And THAT is what has allowed the Lord to work miracles here in Xochitenco. I'll be sad to leave this area tomorrow, but am very excited as well to meet my new companion and get to know my new area. I'll let you know where I go next week!
So, want to hear about the miracles we had this week? Of course. Well, as you may or may not already know, we had been struggling all cycle to baptize Sofia, and in my letter last week I explained how I kind of "planched" her Dad about the reception of the Holy Ghost and other things. We had done everything that was within our power. BUT, the greatest changes started to occur when Sofia started to speak for herself, and not just through us. She told her parents that she was going to change, and that she wanted to be baptized with their permission. Her mom said she would sign the Membership Record if she was good this (past) week...but her Dad gave her a firm "NO. Not this week." We went to her house everday to make sure she was doing her chores, wasn't fighting with her brother and sister, and was doing extra things around the house in order to help her mom. She did everything and more, and on Thursday, she finally mustered up the courage to really talk with her Dad.
She looked at him straight in the eye, and said, "Dad, I want to be baptized." He said, in one way or another, that he did not support that decision and wouldn't sign the form. She then said to him, "Dad, I want to be baptized this Sunday, and I need your permission. Whether you give me permission or not, I'm going to continue going to Church, I'm going to continue changing, and I will NOT be the same person I was before. Do you want to sign this form or not?" He was completely silent. Without saying a word, he sat and sat and then walked away. We came by her house the next day, Friday, and she came to the door with a really sad look on her face. She said, "I talked with my Dad last night..." she looked down, and then pulled out the Membership Record Form---SIGNED BY HER DAD HIMSELF! It was awesome.
To make a long story a little less long, we had a beautiful baptismal service last night where all the youth from the ward, Sofia's grandma, cousin, and parent were in attendance. My Companion had the pleasure of baptizing her, and I was priveleged enough to be a witness.
God is working miracles among His children, but it requires the efforts by all involved. We missionaries could not do it alone. Sofia had to take a huge step of faith: then and only then was the Lord able to touch the heart of Sofia's father.
So I have changes tomorrow, I'll be heading to the Changes Meeting next to the Temple tomorrow to be assigned to my new companion and my new area. Sweet!
Love you long time.
Elder Budge
Attached are the photo from the baptism and some photos from Conference...I think.