Monday, November 29, 2010

Moctezuma Miracles Week!

Hello family!!!
This week has been absolutely great! I hope you're all still STUFFED from all the food you ate for Thanksgiving! That's definitely something that Mexico needs to stuffed turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, or anything like that for Elder Budge. But I did eat some delicious tacos in a Leadership Training we had this past week....ok so they weren't turkey tacos but they were still pretty good! I have lots of reasons to be grateful, the Lord has blessed us so much in our area these past weeks, and we've been able to see the fruits of the work we're doing here down in good ol' Mexico.
I'm glad to hear everyone's doing well, especially with that whole Honey Business deal! And hey, how are things going with Josh finishing up his mission papers? I want to hear about his call to the Mexico City East Mission! (Hey, it can happen, right?) Let me know how that's going!
Anyway, on to my miracle-filled week! I really never know where to begin. This week we really didn't have a lot of time to work in our area, because I had a two-day leadership training in the Aragon Stake Center (the one next to the temple), so we only had three full days to work this past week. But they were just incredible. We're continuing to teach Irlanda, who is progressing amazingly. She has her baptismal date for this coming Sunday, and she's really excited to be baptized. We had to kind of drop the other investigator that we had with a baptismal date for this Sunday...he turned out to be a little "coo-koo" because his brain has been pretty warped thanks to many, many years of doing every drug you can imagine. Yesterday he lost his temper a little bit wasn't pretty. So we decided to just invite him to continue to attend Church and work on him gaining a strong testimony.
Wednesday we had a pretty eventful day. The Zone Leaders from the Neza/Pantitlan Zone called us with a referral they contacted in their area that lives in ours. His name is we set up an appointment to meet with him on Wednesday night in the Chapel near his house. He told us his life story...and he has been humbled and prepared to accept the Gospel. It's incredible the things that he's experienced. But those things helped him to be humble enough to accept our invitation to read, pray, attend Church, and accept a baptismal date for the 12th of December. He went to Church on Sunday and was asking a bunch of really good questions about baptism, repentance, and forgiveness...just an incredible person. We'll be working a lot with him this week to make sure he's ready to be baptized and receive a remission of his sins! I love that part.
Thursday I had to go to Leadership Training, and the assistants and the Mission President taught us a lot about commitments, prayer, verifying, teaching with the Book of Mormon, and the role of the Holy Ghost in our work. I loved it. I loved feeling the Spirit testify to me of the things we were learning, and feeling His approval of the things I had been doing so far. It was an unforgettably edifying experience. We had Leadership Training again on Friday, and after the training we sang "Las Mananitas" to President Hicken for his birthday, and the assistants bought him a Batman pinata, and a "President Hicken" Pinata. It was really funny to see President breaking the Pinata. We ate some delicious cake and ice cream afterward...not a bad way to spend your friday afternoon!
Saturday, I completed 18 months in the mission. I'm officially in the fourth quarter, and although I've never been much of an athlete, I know how important the 4th quarter is! I sent a message to Elder Walk (the assistant) to congratulate him, and he sent me a text that said: "No pain, no gain, playa! Time to get in it. Baptize!" That is the plan.
Thank you for everything! Until Next week!!
Elder Budge
1. Graffiti in our area...
2. More graffiti
3. My generation in Leadership training: Me, Elder Folkman, Elder Walk, and Elder Allsen
4. Me with the Pres. Hicken pinata
5. Pres. Hicken with the pres. Hicken pinata
6. Pres Hicken going at the Pinata!
7. The Leadership Training group
8. Me getting mad because my cell phone always drops calls inside my house...haha.
9. My companion and I drinking smoothies and watching movies (Church movies of course) in our Ward Mission Leader's house while we do laundry.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Una obra maravillosa y un prodigio...

Hey family!
Elder Budge reporting for duty...after another amazing week in the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD! That is, of course, the Mexico City East Mission!! Woo!!! I love being a part of this work; it really is humbling to know that the Lord trusts us so much, gives us so many blessings, and allows us to share those blessings with others!
So, an update on what's been happening here in the Federal District. Remember the lady I told you about that contacted us in the street? Well...she turned out to be not-so-elect and a little "loca". We had one visit with her and decided not to continue with her...maybe in the future.
Man I have so much to say but don't know what to talk about first. Chronological order seems to work out best. So last tuesday, we went to another ward in our Stake to visit with a young man that an RM had been teaching for the past couple of weeks. He was as GOLDEN as Budge's Golden Sunshine Honey. We reviewed some of the things he had read in the pamphlets, reviewed the questions from the baptismal interview, and gave him a Book of Mormon to read. We made an appointment for his baptismal interview for the very next day. That day came quickly, he passed his interview with flying colors (the Zone Leader that interviewed him was astounded by his golden-ness), and we set up another appointment for the next day. We talke with him about serving a mission and my companion and I shared some experiences with him about the mission. That really helped me remember and appreciate all the Lord has done for me my entire life, and especially the past 18 months. Needless to say, this "joven" Karim was baptized on Sunday, and I'll attach some pictures.
Next bit of news: We found an awesome investigator this week named Blanca Irlanda. We received the referral from the visitor's center and visited her on Thursday night. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon, about Jesus Christ and Jehovah (can you guess what religous background she has?), and left her Alma 32 to read and pray about. She told us that she was just unable to explain what she felt while she was in the Visitor's Center and we were able to help her understand the nature of the Holy Ghost. On Friday we had another lesson with her, read more from the Book of Mormon, and helped her understand her answer to her prayers. She went to Church with us on Sunday with a friend of hers who is an RM, and while my companion was attending our other wards her friend and I taught her the Plan of Salvation. She loved it. At the end of the lesson, I asked her if she believed if the Book of Mormon was true. She said yes. I asked her if she believed if Joseph Smith was a prophet...she said yes. The Spirit is working absolute wonders with her, and she's really experiencing true conversion. She has a baptismal date for the 5th of December (just in time for her Dad to come to town...), and she says the great challenge of hers is that of breaking the news to her Dad. I asked her, "what happens if your parents say no?" and she replied, "Then...oh well. I'm going to do it." GOLD! GOOOOOAAAALLLL MEXICO!!
Can't you see why I absolutely love this work? The Church is true!
Elder Budge
PS I've attached some pictures from the baptism. One of the pictures has Karim's girlfriend...don't go thinking he got baptized just for her!! haha just kiddin.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What up, FAM!!

Hey hey!!
Sounds like everyone had a busy week! It's good to know that you're all doing well and keeping yourselves anxiously engaged in good causes. I also had an excellent, miracle-filled week with my son Elder Flores. Sorry the "Man Expo" was lame Dad...haha I can't imagine what they would have there. Not sure if I want to. To be honest, I really enjoy being in the city a lot more than out in the boonies. It was a nice little surprise when I got transferred...I was mentally preparing myself to be out in the middle of nowhere for at least six months. I'm definitely grateful to be among the chilangos again...I love these people so much. I was missing the dirty street tacos for sure.
Looks like the whole Honey Business dealio is taking off! That's great news! You should sell Budge's Golden Sunshin Honey down here in Mexico. That would be "sweet" hahahaha. Well I'll just let you all in on how my week went.
Well I'll just start off by saying that the week started out pretty slooooww. We had a sweet District class over at the Stake Center in Aragon; I talked about the importance of inviting investigators to fulfill commitments, having them commit themselves, and the importance of verifying the commitments afterwards. It was a really fun class. On Tuesday we just went out contacting in the morning...and not a single person accepted. But the Lord knew we were working so he decided to give us an awesome blessing--the Bishop from a different ward in the Stake (where there are currently no missionaries) called us and told us of a complete family that went to Church by themselves on Sunday, and the Bishop told us he set up an appointment with them in the Chapel on Tuesday night! It was great. All of them accepted a baptismal date for the 21st of November (this coming Sunday), and they're progressing really well. BUT, the missionaries from their ward finally arrived so we'll be passing that family along to my other son, Elder Montoya, and the other missionary whom he is training.
On Wednesday we went to visit a good handful of dry members that members from the Ward told us to go visit. We decided to listen to them and went to go visit...and I'm always reminded that there's always a reason WHY these investigators are eternal investigators...they just don't want to progress. Kind of a bummber but we're trying to win the confidence of the members, and visiting their referrals is an important part of that. Como dijo Nefi...pues, ¿ya que?
Thursday we decided to put the ol' Celestial References to the test again...we spent a lot of time praying and deciding where the Lord needed us to work that day. So we chose a few streets, knocked all the doors and contacted everyone in those streets...again to no avail. But did that get us down? NOO!!! Of course not. Getting down isn't worth beans! We continued to work and went to a few appointments we had, which kind of didn't work out either. We checked our online referrals and checked some of those out too, and set up some appointments.
We had a sweet District Leader Council on Friday, and we learned a lot about setting goals and how to accomplish them, and the Zone Leaders showed us Elder Walk's (did I tell you he's assistant now?) "Plan of Action"--or in other words, the process from getting from a desire to seeing results, and it's helped us figure out a lot of things we can do better in our own area. I love that Elder.
Saturday we saw some AWESOME miracles. My companion and I were both thinking..."we've worked hard all week, we've been super obedient...where are the miracles?!" And, lo and behold, we run into the Assistants from the Mexico City South mission (their offices are down the street from our house). We stopped to greet them, and started to chat a little bit to get to know each other. We had previously met an AWESOME investigator my first week here, but he only works in our area and lives in their area. We asked them if they knew him and if they had tried to teach him. They said that they had tried teaching him, but they could never find him at home because he's always working. They said, "Go and teach him and baptize him". I'm not one to question commandments or anything like that, so that's the current plan. We're going to be teaching him this week and all the good stuff.
So we continued talking, when a lady just came up to our little circle and asked "Are you guys Mormons?" We said yes, and she said that she had had some curiousity for some time and wanted to learn more about the Church! It was awesome. We took down her address and we have an appointment with her tomorrow night.
Moral of the story: Just be good boys and girls, obey the commandments, keep your covenants faithfully, and just put your trust in the Lord. If we don't do anything to interfere with the Spirit's guidance, we will receive the blessings the Lord has prepared for us. And a lot of the time, that just means being in the right place at the right time.
Elder Bednar, President Eyring, Brother Craig C. Christensen gave an awesome Stake Conference broadcast from Salt Lake on Sunday. It was absolutely incredible. What stuck out to me most is what Elder Bednar said about receiving revelation. He compared receiving revelation to three different types of experience with Light: the way light comes when we turn on a lightswitch (immediate revelation from God, i.e., Joseph Smith's first vision, Paul's vision on the road to Damascus), the way light comes into view slowly at daybreak (the more common way to receive revelation), and the light we receive at daybreak, but on a cloudy day. Needless to say I was able to receive several answers to very important questions I had.
Family, Mom, Dad, brother and sisters, brothers-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, best friends: This Church is directed by Jesus Christ Himself. He has called and authorized His servants to instruct us and help us walk in the path that leads to Eternal Life in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes we need to walk in the daylight we receive on a cloudy day, and trust in what the Lord has revealed in these last days to guide our path. We will not understand everything perfectly. But we can have a perfect trust in the commandments, the council, and the wisdom we receive from the Lord through His authorized servants, and through our own personal revelation.
Go to the temple.
Elder Budge
PS I'm sending some photos of my District, of a 300 peso Jenga game I bought for District Class (I guess you could say that Mom bought it, haha!), and my new son, and my agenda for the month of November.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aaww...nadie me quiere. Sino Brady...yeeaah!‏

Hello family!!!
How on earth are you all doing?! Dang Derek made me realize something crazy...we are the only two left! That's weird to think about. And our time is winding down so we just have to work hard and work hard and work hard and baptize the world in just a short time. And we are speaking the best language on earth! So I have some pretty sweet news for you. Here it goes.
As I mentioned last week, I got changed from Xicotepec, Puebla (aka in the middle of nowhere...) and now I'm in the very center, the very heart, if you will, of the Federal District...the largest city in the world!! I got transferred to the innermost part of our mission, right smack-dab in the middle of Mexico City. We have a bazillion metro stations, lots of taxis, buses...and for the very first time, I have a Wal-Mart in my area. Haha. But the best part is that our Wards here in this area are just awesome. This is my first time working with more than one ward at a time, so it's been a nice challenge figuring out how to work with three! The Ward mission leader from one of our wards has been helping out a ton, and after Sunday we now have a better understanding how we're going to tackle this new task.
My new son is awesome, his name is Elder Flores. He's the most teachable greenie I've ever met! He's super humble and pays really close attention to everything I do, and he's a really quick learner. It's been such a joy to be his trainer. My first son, Elder Montoya, is training for the second time as well, and the four of us are working in the same Stake. Pure Budge posterity is rocking the Moctezuma Stake!! It's a really humbling idea really, I truly feel grateful for the trust the Lord has placed in me.
I'm continuing to serve as a District Leader as well...but now my district is a little different. I have the two companionships of Secretaries (who don't even live in our mission...) and ALL the sisters from the Visitor's Center at the Mexico City Temple are part of my District! In total I have about 23 missionaries in my district! It has been a blast so far, and tonight we're having our first official District meeting in the Stake Center next to the temple. I can't wait haha! We'll take a gigantic district photo and I'll send it next week.
That's all the news I have...until next week!!
Elder Budge
PS. The reason for the subject of this email is that Brady is the only one who wrote me today...come on!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day of the Dead, Spongebob, and a new son...

Hey family!!
Sorry I couldn't write a whole lot last week, but I hope you enjoyed all the photos I sent. I'm trying to be more consistent in sending pictures...I think it makes my emails a little less boring. Mandy, I hope you keep uploading all this stuf onto that blog! I hear that I have fans? Haha just kidding. But seriously sometimes people ask. Anyway, thanks for writing me everyone, it's always really good to hear how everyone's doing.
Now I will answer some questions. Mom, of course they celebrate Halloween here in Mexico! What were ya thinking? American culture is very very integrated on Halloween it was just like you might imagine it at home. Some teengers walking around in Costumes, little kids asking for candy, and if the missionaries don't have candy, they usually ask for money instead. But yeah, it's funny that when most people think of Mexico they usually think of huge sombreros and panchos and stuff like that, but it's really different. Everyone here watched iCarly and Drake and Josh, and of course everyone's obsessed with Spongebob Squarepants. When it comes to things like that, it's a lot like home. But you were right when you said that we celebrate the Day of the Dead...they're actually a few days if we want to be exact. And it's a little different from Memorial Day...people here set up altars in their houses with things that they're beloved dead liked while they were here in foods they liked, cigarrettes, wine...and the tradition is that the dead people actually come and eat what they have set out on their altars. It's weird. But they have different days for different types of dead, like one day for babies who died before being "baptized", people who were murdered have a different day, peope who died in accidents, etc. But anywho, the best part is that we eat tons of mole (say it with me, MO-LAY), and it's delicious. This year I decided to participate in the cooking process, and there's a picture attached.
Anyway, on to the good stuff. Looks like me and melissa are Pregnant at the same time! Only my baby boy is due tomorrow! That's right, I'm getting transferred after my six shorts week in Xicotepec, and I'll be training a newby. My second son! I'm really grateful for the opportunity to train will be a blast. I think we'll be opening up a new area too, so that will be interesting. I've never opened an area before. But anyway, I'm goodbye to good ol' Xico and headed towards Mexico tomorrow bright and early.
That's really all the news I have; I just want to congratulate David for putting both feet firm back at home. He'll be helping me out with music updates when I get back. That's a good sign of mission well spent--means he put two feet firm in the mission, fulfilled what he need to fulfill, and can very surely put both feet back at home.
I love you all, and happy Day of the Dead!!
Elder Budge