Monday, May 31, 2010

Paul McCartney in Mexico?

I guess Paul McCartney just did a crazy big concert here in Mexico, according to the news that's on right now in the internet cafe. Sounds like it was a pretty big deal! Anyway...
Thanks for the collective update Mel...sounds like everyone's keeping themselves busy. Panda, you should totally go to Baltimore to visit Melissa! I did the same thing when Melissa was in San Bern and it was way fun. Plus the East is so sweet. I love it. Haha that's sweet that Mandy won some tickets to an ice skating show on the radio. I've always wanted to win stuff on the radio...I got denied one time because I wasn't 18. Oh well. Mandy, Melissa tells me that you need some advice for some classes on Sunday about sustaining missionaries through letters or something like that? Ha and when was the last time you wrote me a letter....?! Well I guess one of the things I can tell you is that letters can be really helpful or be a huge distraction. Avoid things like "Did you hear that your ex-girlfriend got married...?" What interests me is to hear about the blessing you all are receiving while I'm away, like success at work, sealings in the temple (but not of ex-girlfriends...), things you've read in the scriptures. I think the thing I like most to hear is that you're staying close to the Church and changing and improving your efforts in scripture reading and prayers and things like that. And for your class on testimony...the thing that your class really needs to understand is that a testimony is found in the bearing of it. It's good to note that the commandment is "open your mouth and it shall be filled", and not the other way around. And it's important to remember that testimonies are simple, precise declaracions of what you know to be true. "I know that God lives.", "Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer". "God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet." We get a little hesitant, as missionaries, about bringing investigators to Fast and Testimony meeting sometimes...because you never know what the members are going to say. "Last week, when I was headed to the grocery store..." usually isn't a good start to a declaration of eternal truth.
Sounds like Dad had a pretty good time with Shane and his little Jam Session last weekend. Melissa, you should ask the sister missionaries what mission they're from, and you should definitely invite them to eat with you more often. We always appreciate it :). And also...for the package. I could use some more socks...all of mine have holes, and I have to change them once during the day. bummer. Gold toes are always good. Also some CDs of some cool hymn arrangements or favorite LDS singer is Mindy Glendhill. Use that knowledge as you wish.
So my week was pretty sweet. Elder Tadeo and I are having some pretty good success! It's so awesome working with a veteran. Elder Tadeo is such a crazy good teacher...I think that's one of the main things I'm learning from him. So our main focus of this past week was Raymundo...getting him living in his sister's house, getting him interviewed, and getting him baptized! We did all three...of course, with the help of the Lord. We've been telling him since last week that he needed to live with his sister (not with his girlfriend) while he works on his divorce and his marriage. We reminded him on Tuesday and told him we couldn't have his baptism until he moved in with his sister, and he said "Hey! You never told me that! I thought you just wanted me to live there so I don't live with my girlfriend. If you told me I could get baptized as soon as I moved out, I would have done it a week ago!" We told him that we DID tell him that, and he admitted that he just didn't remember. Haha. But anyway, we got him moved out, got him interviewed, and we baptized him yesterday. It was awesome. I have the picture, but I left my memory card at home. Sorry! Next week.
Anyway, that's all the news I've got. We're working with some new investigators we found last week and planning on bring them to the Visitor's Center on Sunday! I'll let you know how it goes....NEXT TIME! Same time, same station.
Elder Budge

Monday, May 24, 2010

Love one another as Jesus loves you.

I've had that song stuck in my head for a very long time. It's definitely a good one.
Hello familia! Como estais? Todo bien?
There's a little bit of Spanglish for you. I can't believe it's still snowing in Utah...that's incredible. You should send some of that snowy goodness over here in Mexico because it is HOT! But at least it's not humid...that's the good thing. It's my last summer here in Mexico so I've got to work on the tan and soak up the Mexican sun while I can. I will have the sweetest farmer tan ever.
It's good to hear that all is going well with Ice, Dad. Dang I want to go to England. And it's good that all that Justin Beaune garbage is out of the way. What a dork. I was thinking a lot this week about all the blessings that have been received since I started my missionary service, and I remember something that Eli wrote me at the beginning of the mission. He told me that as a missionary, whatever good thing I ask of the Lord in benefit for someone else will happen. I've seen that so much as I've been here. Everytime I get rejected, our investigators fall through, or people yell swear words at us in the street, I just remember: more blessings for my family.
I forgot to mention last week that Elder Soza got transferred on Tuesday. Our time together was short but sweet, and now I have a new companion, Elder Tadeo. He's sweeet, and has a lot of experience in the mission. He only has one more month left to go, so President Bulloch told me that I need to keep him "alive" so that he can end his mission well. We've had a lot of fun working together; we were already buddies before (that's fun...having a companion you already know). The only thing is that I know we only have this short month together, then he's DEAD, and I'll have another companion. We're definitely taking advantage of the short time we have together. We'll just baptize the world.
Everything went SO WELL this week! That is...up until Sunday. Geez. We found a lot of really really cool people to come to Church with us on Sunday...and none of them came. It was really frustrating for both of us, because really the people we had found were so awesome. But, ni modo, we have to find even more even cooler people this week. I'm still not sure how but we'll be changing up the strategy and getting the members more involved in finding people with us.
Yesterday, we finally baptized Diana (the 9 year old), and it was really sweet. One of the Zone Leaders, Elder Delahunty, and I sang a hymn together at the baptismal service, and it worked out really well. I really love love baptizing. We're still working on getting Raymundo a place to stay so he can get batized this Sunday, so that's going to be our main challenge this week. Other than that there's really anything else to report. We went to play soccer this morning and it was pretty sweet...until another missionary kicked the ball over the fence of the chapel and the people on the other side stole it and said that it wasn't there. Needless to say, we had to stop playing sooner than planned.
I hope everyone is doing well; good and healthy and all that. Feel free to email me...let me know how things are going.

Elder Budge

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just be a good boy.

Hellloo Family, Friends, and...well other people who read this too.
I hope everyone's doing well, and sounds like everyone's keepin themsevles pretty busy. Miranda, good to know that school is getting done, but why on earth are you headed to five different states this summer?! I demand an explanation! It seems like you're just like me. I love traveling. And you should definitely try to get your passport so you can head to Europe with Dad! That's going to be so SWEET! Don't let opportunities like that pass by. And of course, take lots of pictures and send them to me. I love getting pictures.
Anywho, we had a pretty RAD week. Last week President Bulloch sent us some talks by Elder Bednar to read and study in preparation for a little reunion we had this morning (i'll fill you in on that in a few paragraphs) and I learned a lot about faith. It's funny the way we usually define faith...because we usually end up defning "hope" instead of true faith. Elder Bednar explains faith in a way that impressed me so much. (I suggest you read two of his talks... "Ask in Faith" and "Seek Learning by Faith"). He explains three different definitions of faith given by three different prophets: Paul, who explains faith as the hope for things which are not seen, which are true. Alma, who explains faith as the evidence of things not seen. And Joseph Smith, who explains faith as a principle of action in all intelligent beings. Elder Bednar explains that these three definitions explain the three basic elements of faith: 1. An Assurance, 2. An Action, and 3. The Evidence. I'll let you read the rest of the talk, but in a nutshell he says that true faith is when we have the ASSURANCE to do something, then we ACT, and we receive the EVIDENCE (or blessings) that in turn give us even more ASSURANCE to ACT even more. I obviously don't explain it as well as he does, but just read the talks prayerfully, and I'm SURE you'll feel what I felt as I studied those words. What a sweet experience.
So this week we were able to receive many blessings. Many, many blessings. We continued to visit with Miguel and Rebeca, and on Wednesday morning we had a lesson with them at the Chapel about Tithing and Fast offerings, which of course they accepted (that's just what the elect do all the time...), and a few minutes later our District Leader, Elder Walk, came and interviewed them both. Needless to say, they passed with flying colors, and we started to plan their baptism. This Sunday we had Stake Conference, and those of us that had baptisms stayed and had an awesome baptismal service after the conference. Between the four companionships, 12 people were baptized yesterday from our Zone. It was a really fun and beautiful experience to see so many people in white. I don't have the pictures with me so I'll send some next week. So Miguel and Rebeca got baptized yesterday, they'll be confirmed this coming Sunday, and they'll be ONE YEAR away from entering the temple. It will be a sweet going away present for me to enter into the temple with them next year just a few weeks away from heading home. Man I love the mission.
We had a pretty sweet reunion with ELDER BEDNAR this morning, and that's why I'm writing so late :/ But it was absolutely amazing. Of all the missions of Mexico, we were invited to have a meeting with him, and I cannot express to you the things that were felt in that meeting. I love meeting with General Authorities. It was awesome because Elder Bednar said, "Elders and Sisters...I want you to know something. Here we have a few of the Seventy, Mission Presidents, a member of the Presiding Bishoprick (Bishop McNullen) and one of the Quorum of the Twelve right here in this room. There is NOTHING more important happening in Mexico than what is happening right here, right now, in this room." And it's so true, it was just absolutely incredible. Elder Bednar is an amazing, amazing person. I often look at people on the street and have to say to sad it is that they don't know that true Apostles of the Lord of Jesus Christ are here on earth again. And that's what motivates me to open my mouth.
I learned a lot, but it's hard to write down the things that I learned. Elder Bednar addressed some of the silly traditions we develop in the culture of the Church. He explained that we have the tendency to try to jot down every single phrase that is said, which usually distracts us from what the Spirit tries to teach us. And, we never ever go back and read those notes anyway! (How true it is...). Thus, I didn't really write down anything Elder Bednar said...just thoughts that came to my mind, and obviously, those things were personal :).
But one thing I will share with you. Just act. We cannot ask the Lord to do things for us that are well within our power. He gave us a sample prayer that could be said at the end of Sacrament Meeting, replacing the usual "please bless all the people who didn't come to Sacrament meeting so they come next week." He said we could pray something like this: "Father, we thank thee for the wonderful Spirit we have felt, and the many things we have learned as we have been here together. Father, we have noticed that there are many, many people who are not here with us as we conclude this Sacrament meeting. We're going to get them right after Church is over. We will head to their homes, find out if they are sick, if they have some other difficulty, and we will provide whatever assistance we can in helping them to Church next week. Now Lord, we are about to say Amen, so the only blessing that we ask is that thou would inspire us so we all don't end up at the same house, but that we all go to different homes and different families. Amen. Let's go." Notice how the second prayer is much more focused on us being AGENTS who use our AGENCY in accordance with righteous principles...instead of merely being objects that are acted upon. So...let's act. We'll see the blessing that come from doing so, and we'll have more assurance, and act more and more according to the Gospel of Christ. Isn't that cool? I think so.
Anywho, I just want you all to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is exactly what it claims to be: THE Church of Jesus Christ. He directs it. He has called prophets and apostles for us in these last days. Do we not have reason to rejoice?
Yes. We do.
Elder Budge

Monday, May 10, 2010

What time is it? Give me everything you've got.

Hellloooo Family!
Good to hear that mother's day went so well! And it was SO SWEET talking to all of you yesterday! You're right, Mom, the time goes by way way too fast. That hour was like nothing! But it was nice to feel at home again and hear your voices and all that good stuff. I feel like I can't even remember what we talked about because it went by so fast. Whoo. But, after talking with you guys, I got a quick reminder that I'm still in Mexico. I'll tell you how...after I tell you about our awesome week.
So this past week was just awesome. It started out as a pretty normal week, Monday we did our regular P Day stuff, nothing out of the ordinary. On Tuesday we went to Diana (the 9-year-old)'s house to talk about the details of the baptism we were going to have for her Saturday, when her Mom informed us that her father had just died only hours before. It was a rough situation, and we stayed for a little bit to remind her about the Plan of Salvation, and of the fact that her father was already endowed and so they needed to get started with the rest of his vicarious work and everything else. So they went to the Funeral in Chiapas (another state in's far) and they won't be back until sometime this week. So we postponed that baptism and hopefully they'll be back this week in order to do it.
Then that night we taught a new couple that the Lord brought to Church last Sunday (May 2nd), and the lesson was KILLER! They had awesome questions, we were able to answer them, explain the Restoration, and program them for baptism this coming Sunday. It was awesome. Their names are Miguel and Rebeca, and they have 4 kids (all of them under the age of baptism) and they are SUPER elect. So we left 3 Nephi 11 for them to read, and another Elder and I (we did splits) went to visit them on Thursday. When we started the lesson, the neighbors next door started playing "Enter Sandman" by Metallica VERY loudly, but it didn't get to us at all. I asked them if they had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon, and Rebeca answered and told me that she had read what we told her to read, and prayed. The next day, she went with her sick dad to his cancer check ups (he's had cancer the last few years and has lost his eye), and when the doctors checked for cancer, there was not a single trace in his body! Needless to say, she had accepted that experience as her answer about the Book of Mormon. Love it.
Then we asked Miguel, and he said "Look...I did read...but I also read the chapter before and the chapter after the one you told me to read. I looked up all the footnotes in those chapters and compared with my bible. And I did pray...but I didn't ask if the Book of Mormon was true. I didn't need to ask. As soon as started to pray, I felt the Spirit fill my body, and I know that this book is a book of God." You can imagine that I had a huge smile on my face when he told us was awesome. Afterward, we talked about the Law of Chastity (I knew they weren't married) and invited them to follow the commandment. Really to no surprise to us, they accepted, and I told them I would return with Elder Soza the next day to talk about the details after talking with our awesome judge hook-up. We went back on Friday night and said, " you wanna get married tomorrow morning?" They said yes. And we went.
The marriage was an adventure! We got to Nezahualcoyotl (or Neza for short) where our Judge buddy is, but Rebeca's birth certificate was NO BUENO! So we had to drive to the other end of Neza to take out an original copy of her birth certificate, and time was winding down! The guy who took us was driving like a stunt was awesome. We were weaving through the traffic, going halfway up onto the sidewalk and everything to return on time. It was sweet!!! And we did get their in time, and got 'em HITCHED! That was a fun experience for sure.
So yeah. So here comes the bad reminder of the fact that I'm still in Mexico. After talking with the fam, Elder Soza and I headed to Elder Walk's house to report our numbers for the week...and we got mugged. It was so retarded. The guys didn't even have any knives or guns or anything like that, one of them just asked me for the time, and then put his arm around me and said "Give me everything you've got on you". Daaaang. So he took my watch (the one Grandma and Grandpa gave me), my money, camera with my memory cards. It was bummer for sure. It was like a big slap in the face that said "HEY! Remember you're still in Mexico!" Don't worry I'm not hurt everything's good. I'm just one camera and some memory cards short now.
Anyway, we went to the Pyramids today, and I bought a disposable camera (HAHA!) and took some pictures. I'll try to get them onto a CD or something to send them.
love you all. Have a good week! Be safe!
Elder Budge

Monday, May 3, 2010

JIF Peanut Butter in Mexico?!

Just when you thought it was impossible, it turns out you can buy JIF Peanut
Butter here in good ol' Mexico!

It's funny the way things work out. Bishop Flinders, thank you for your
email, it helps to know my family is in good hands at home! I truly am
grateful for faithful Priesthood Leaders who have cared for my family as
I've been away--especially because you helped my big sister enter into the
temple. I still can't believe I now have two endowed, sealed-for-eternity
sisters. What a great example to me.

The Lord has truly blessed elder Soza and I this past week as we have worked
in the Field sowing in the Promised Land! It's truly amazing the way the
Lord has opened the windows of Heaven and poured out a ton of blessing upon
this great people! We had a pretty sweeeeet district class with Elder Walk
this past week where he taught us to "leave our sickle at home and climb up
onto the TRACTOR!" We talked about the power and authority of our calling,
and he asked us, "Why would you use a sickle to sow in a field when the Lord
is handing you a gigantic tractor instead?!" The fruits of the labor have
not been few.

We had another hectic week figuring out the whole moving situation, signing
contracts, fighting with landlords, and everything else. But Elder Soza and
I definitely worked our buns off knocking and contacting and finding people
to teach. But it's always funny to me that I always forget something very
important--something I've had to learn at least a dozen times--THE LORD
BLESSES US IN HIS WAY AND IN HIS TIME! We didn't find a single person
knocking doors or contacting, the Lord just brought an awesome family to
church for us on Sunday! They stayed the whole three hours and loved it. So
we have a lesson with them tomorrow and we'll be programming them for
baptism. The blessings come in just the most unexpected ways. I had a good
chit-chat with elder Walk and he said "A lot of the times the Lord just has
to say 'these guys don't know how to find people...I'll just had them a
family to teach!" And it's so true. All we're doing is working really hard
and the Lord blesses us. Y ya se acabó.

So that was our fun week. I'll spare you the details but moving was a
nightmare, but we're all moved in and it's all good in the neighborhood.
Except we have some weird a guy that keeps a horse in his
house. Weird. And I'm not in a rural part of Mexico or anything...he just
keeps a horse in his house. Don't ask me why. Also our neighbors warned us
about a guy who usually answers his door we'll be doing our best
to avoid any awkward situations. haha.

I love you all, and fam, I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday. Sweet!

Elder Budge