Monday, July 26, 2010

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades

Thanks for all the letters, and thank you Mom for sending Janna, David, and Derek´s emails. They´re so awesome. We have the greatest family in the world!!! And the best part is, we have an eternal families. I love that.
Sounds like everyone had a blast at Lake Powell! I´m a little jealous...but I did a different type of ¨swimming¨ this weekend too! Heh heh!! Mel, good luck with selling in St. George....I think it will be rough but you just have to work way hard. Mom, thanks for writing, and for your testimony. You don´t know how much it means to me. Is Dad ok? It´s been ages since I´ve received an email from him. Miranda, thanks for sending pictures!! They look awesome. I just received a letter from Sister Jardine and I remembered boating trips...and then I get all these awesome pictures! Haha. Who knows what it means.
Well, my week. To start off, we have eaten EXCELLENT food this week! I don´t know what got in to the members...but we ate some delicious hot dogs and hamburgers this week, along with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, jello-o....aahhh I felt like I was in heaven. Or at least in the United States. It was pretty cool! But definitely not the best part of my week.
Our investigator, Azucena, has been progressing like crazy and continues to help us find people to teach! She does a lot more missionary work than the average member...and she´s not even a member! The reference she gave us last week, Sonya, along with her family, have been progressing a ton as well. We do have one or two minor hiccups with them...Sonya and her husband aren´t married, and her husband has to get divorced! That means...lots of money. They have their baptism programmed for next Sunday (the 8th), so we have to work way hard to get him divorced, get them married, and get them and their two kids in the water! I always love a good challenge. We took them to the Visitor´s Center in the city after Church on Sunday, and they loved it! I was a really special trip, and I had another little encounter with Alexa Thompson´s mom! She´s in a lot of Church movies!
We´re still working on Eva and Enrique´s´s been tough. They want to find a new house before getting married...therefore: first, new house; second, marriage; and third, BAPTISM FOR EVA! It´s a lot of work, but when we are on the same side of the Lord, things tend to work out. I have 100% trust in that.
My companion and I contacted a way cool Lady last week named Diana, and had a really good ¨talk¨ with her in a park close by to her house, and we discovered that her life has been bombarded with seemingly endless problems. AKA: someone who needs the Restored Gospel. (Who doesn´t, right?). We taught a little bit in the park, made an appointment for the next day, and went to her house. We answered all her questions about the Plan of Salvation, she understood, inspite of her crazy loud children. My companion and I were praying silently for her kids to calm down, and suddenly they both fell asleep on the floor, and afterward we taught the Restoration. She told us that she had never seen her kids calm down so I said, being on the Lord´s side has its benefits. She accepted her commitments to read, pray, go to Church, and to be baptized. We went back to days later...and she told us that she no longer wanted to visit with us. It was weird, and kind of out-of-nowhere. Thus the subject of this email...close.
NAYELI!!! We baptized her on Saturday! It was so awesome, and I was so happy to see the result of all of the hard work the Lord has done with her. It was really awesome...way better than swimming at Lake Powell. She asked me to baptize her, and it was just amazing. There was a really awesome Spirit in that could just see the giant burden lift off her shoulders. Priceless.
We had interviews with President Hicken last week, and he was really helpful in broadening our horizon and helping us to know how to set better goals. So we´re putting that into practice. He explained to us that our norm of baptizing 1 every week shouldn´t be a goal, but a jumping off point. Lots of work to do!
This week, from the Book of Elder Budge: Having received the gift of the Holy Ghost should eliminate the phrase ¨What if...?¨ from our vocabulary.
I love every one of you, thanks for all the support. I´m sure your prayers are helping me to keep going.
Elder Budge

Monday, July 19, 2010

Eat fresh!

Helloooo Family!
Mom, thank you so much for sending David and Janna's emails to me. I'll have you know that it was the first time I received their weekly emails...very enjoyable. It seems like David is experiencing the same changes in his mission as we are in mine (could it be because the Gospel is the same in Japan and in Mexico...?). I think so. I love hearing about my cousins and their missions...the only one I really haven't heard from is Derek...flojo. And David, just so you know, "dulce" probably wouldn't work too well in that context...try again next time. Use the word "Chido" instead. It's way more Chido than dulce..
Anywho, sounds like my buddy Braden David Crump, now ex-missionary, made it home safe and sound. I still can't believe that time has gone by so quickly. It's weird. And grandma and grandpa, thanks for the update! It's definitely good to hear all the news from your point of view. My dad didn't tell me about the golf ball story while you were in Europe.
This was a really interesting week for my hijo (son) and I... we experienced some major disappointments, but we both feel really satisfied with the work we were able to do. Last P-Day we went to visit some people we had previously contacted in the street, and, surprise! False address! Haha I really wish that wasn't normal for me. I told my companion a few days before that when things like that happen, we need to find someone to talk to immediately, because the Lord knows exactly where we are. And yes, that is precisely what we did. We contacted a woman (her name is Azucena) who was walking in the street towards us, and I asked if her if it was ok if we went to her house to teach the Gospel. She said "Si!" so we went. After talking with her for a few minutes, she told us that she had already been baptized when she was little, but after her baptism her family never went to Church again. I thought things seemed a little I asked her for her info and called the Records Secretary to ask about her. Turns out that neither she nor her family exist in the records of the Church! She has no living witnesses to her baptism so...she's just going to have to get baptized again. She'll be baptized the 1st of August.
Azucena lives here in Mexico but originally is from Veracruz; right now she's living with her Daughter and her Son-in-law, both Catholics. We were teaching her the lessons in a near-by park because her daughter wouldn't let us into her house. Azucena started talking to her neighbors to see if anyone else wanted to listen to us so we would have a place to teach, and after doing some tracting she found a super-receptive family of four who loves hearing the Gospel. There names are Sonya, Carlos, Maira, and Jesus--they have their baptismal date set up for the 8th of August, one week after Azucena. I'm sure my cousins will agree with me when I say that teaching the truly elect people prepared by the Lord is 100 times easier than teaching people who simply aren't prepared to receive the Restored Gospel. So that was really satisfying for us.
Dulce wasn't baptized this past week...everything was going fine, there were butterflies and roses all around--until her baptismal interview. She passed her interview, but the day after told us that she wanted another month in order to get baptized. She really wouldn't give us a solid reason why--she kept blaming her mom, saying that her mom would kick her out of the house if she got baptized. We talked to hear about fearing God more than fearing Man, but she wouldn't listen to us. Every time we resolved her doubts, she would return to old ones. She told us that after a month she would have everything in order so that she can get baptized. We had to drop her. Bummer...
On the bright side, Nayeli, after a very long fight, is going to get baptized this Sunday! WOOO!! So we're definitely looking forward to that. She had to take care of some personal affairs, and now that all that is out of the way, there is nothing stopping her from getting baptized this Sunday. I love the victory over Satan. When will he learn that he just can't win?
Love you all, have a great week, head to the Temple! You're so lucky you can go whenever you want!!!
Elder Budge

Monday, July 12, 2010

This is life Eternal.

Hello family!
I'm sorry to hear about Uncle Larry's passing away this past week. I've been able to meet a lot of people here that have experienced many deaths in their families, and it always helps to remember the blessings and promises of Eternal Life that come after this life. Every time I teach the Plan of Salvation I feel its truthfulness; especially as the Spirit testifies in others and I get to see their faces light up. Usually it's the first time that they've received real, edifying answers about the purpose of this lfie and the reality of the next. I love the truth.
My companinon and I had a pretty normal week. We did a lot of proselyting, were given lots of fake addresses, and were rained on like crazy all week. I love the qualifier weeks. It just means that the Lord has more and more blessings waiting for us just around the corner.
There's really not much news on my end...we had a special interview for Nayeli last week; we were in the Visitor's Center of the temple for a goooood amount of time and didn't get home till around 8 o clock so we weren't able to get much done. President Parra (the second counselor of the Mission Presidency) let us know that we need to wait another two weeks to be able to baptize her while she arranges some things. So I'll keep you posted on that. She is very very anxiously waiting to be baptized. Bro. Sanchez didn't go to Church on Sunday for his confirmation because he went to visit family to remember the Anniversary of his mother's death, so we have his confirmation planned for this coming Sunday.
I think one of the most important lessons I've learned these past few weeks is that wickedness never was happiness. I had said the phrase several times before, but after visiting with a few less-active members and some other people I've really been able to engrave that phrase on my heart. After meeting so many people who, though unknowlingly, live in such a manner, it's really had a great impact on me. I have met dozens upon dozens of less-active members that say "well...I have my house, I have my family, I have a good job, and I don't even go to Church. What's the problem?" God's love for us doesn't change according to our Church attendance or how well we keep the commandments. Nevertheless, the greatest blessings of all are reserved for those who strive to keep the commandments diligently. I'm always reminded that temporal happiness or pleasure--the kind that we may experience as we disregard and disobey the commandments--is not the goal we should have in mind. And, a good house, good job, and a healthy family do not give us free entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. The goal is to have Eternal Families--and we can only get there through obedience to ALL the commandments that our Heavenly Father has given us.
Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you.
Love you all.
Elder Budge

Monday, July 5, 2010

First week of training!

Hellooooo family!!
How´s everyone doing?! Sounds like the 4th of July was a blast! I was thinking about Malad this morning...and I was craving some home-made root beer out behind Ken's farm! DAAAANG! But that's Ok, my kid and I had a pretty cool 4th of July too!
Yes, Grandma and Grandpa, I received the CAMERA! THANK YOU! And I also received the letter you wrote me. I'm in the process of writing you back! I just need to buy some envelopes. Also! Mom, I imagine that the former Elder Hunter (now known as Jared Hunter) left all that stuff on our porch! Ha! He went home in April, and he's from our Stake and lives really close to us (over by Deerfield) and I sent a bunch of stuff home with him. Miranda, the New Moon thing is for you (obviously), and Josh, that is a real-deal REY MISTERIO luchador mask. ENJOY!!

So anyway, last Tuesday I went to the Changes meeting to pick up my new greenie! His name is Elder Montoya (no...we still don't know if we're related...I don't have my pedigree chart and neither does he). But he's a baller for sure! He's a 25-year-old convert from Mexicali, Baja California. We get along really well; and he's got an incredibly huge enthusiasm for missionary work! My job is to turn him into a missionary of SUCCESS! And speaking of success...
This week went really well for us, inspite of the really short time we had for proselyting. On Tuesday I went to pick up Elder Montoya in the Federal District, on Wednesday we had District Classes, Thursday was a normal work day, Friday we went up to a place called Pachuca to meet the new Mission President (that took up 8 hours of our day), Saturday we did our weekly planning and Sunday we had Church and a baptismal service. Yikes...busy week.
Nevertheless, we had an awesome week. We were working hard with Ricardo Sanchez (he had a smoking problem) all week, and on Thursday morning we finally had his baptismal interview! It was sweet! He passed, of course, and we had his baptismal service on Sunday afternoon. He came to the baptism late and my companion was worried out of his mind! I kept telling him, "Elder, the Lord's elect always show up. There's always one final trial, so just don't worry about it!" Ricardo's one final trial was a ridiculous amount of traffic due to a crazy accident on the bridge close to the Church. My companion's first baptism was sweet!
We're continuing to work with Nayeli...she has yet another interview tomorrow in the afternoon. I know that all will go well with her! And we've been working with a new investigator named Dulce, she's sweet! Ha...bad joke. (For those of you who don't know..."Dulce" means "Sweet"). She accepted her baptismal date for the 18th of July, has been reading the Book of Mormon and told us she believes the Book of Mormon is true. What more could we ask?
I think that's all the news from my end. I'm sending some photos of...
1. Baptism of Leticia and Ricardo (Leticia's son)
2. Elder Tanner and I a few days before he went home
3. My last picture with President Bulloch before he went home
4. My trainer, me, and my trainee
5. Our ride in the Combi up to Pachuca for the Conference on Friday
6. Ricardo Sanchez's baptism
7. Me reporting last the pouring rain.
Love you all!
Elder Budge