Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 13 - Transfer Week!


I was able to buy a card reader today, so hopefully you were able to receive the pictures I sent! My card is getting pretty full so I may send it home pretty soon - but for now you have a sneak peak :) 

This week was extremely busy! It was transfers week, and my companion transferred to Odori in Sapporo so we were really really busy visiting members and investigators and packing on Tuesday and Wednesday,and very early Thursday morning before getting on a bus to go to Sapporo for a Special Sisters Training Meeting and Transfers. Although I was sad to lose my trainer, I have an awesome new companion named Sister Seto - she was actually MTC companions with my trainer! They are very different- Sister Kise has more energy and more genki than probably anyone I:ve ever met, and Sister Seto is super sweet and very quiet - its a transition, but I love them both! It really feel that both Sister Kise and Sister Seto were and are exactly the companions that I need to grow and learn - it truly is an inspired process! There is a lot of change with transfers, and its a little nerve wracking - i am now the area senpai not just with Sister Seto, but with the now 6 elders in the Obihiro ward now too! We got 5 new missionaries in the ward - they opened a new area actually! We are all super excited about that. One of the APs became a trainer and is opening the new area - I have a lot of respect for him, that is a hard situation to be in! But he is doing a great job, and I think the ward is getting more excited about missionary work now that they see it growing and expanding. 

Transfers for sisters are actually a lot of fun! We all meet at the honbu for lunch, and then we have an SSTM (special sisters training meeting) where we are trained from sister Evans and the returning sister missionaries. While we were at the Honbu, Sister Evans gave me a present from you, Mom and Dad, from Korea! I was so surprised! I love it, thank you so much! I actually forgot to bring a scarf with me and it ended up snowing the next day, so it was  very timely gift :) Then we get to go on exchanges for the night within sapporo, spend the night, and then meet the next day for lunch and then go to our new areas with our new companions. I got to work with a gaijin sister for a day, it was a blast! It was the first time for either one of us to do so. Her name is Sister Northrop - her dad actually served in Fukuoka about the same time as you Dad, does the name sound familiar? It was energizing and refreshing to meet all the other sisters and President and Sister Evans - they are really fabulous. 

I am running short on time this week, so that will have to do for now - I love you all, I know this gospel is true! I know that God lives, and that he loves all of his children. I know that he has a plan for each one of us, and that everything that happens is for our good in the end. DandC 121-122. "Fear not what man can do for God shall be with you forever and ever."

Thank you for your letters and you love! 


Sister Budge

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Week 12 - First Snow in Hokkaido!


I have officially been in my first snow in Hokkaido! Luckily it was relatively far away from where I live at a members house, and we were able to ride in the members car, so we just got to play in it, and throw some snow balls :) There is nothing sticking yet, and today is really sunny, but this morning when we went out for morning sports all the puddles from yesterday's rain/frost were frozen solid - it is getting pretty cold! It wouldn't feel so cold most of the time, except for that it starts getting dark now around 4 in the afternoon - by the middle of December it will start getting dark around 3! It's super early, and it makes dendoing pretty difficult because there aren't as many people on the streets (everyone wants to stay inside when its cold and dark :) ) and housing in the dark can feel a little iffy sometimes... so we try to make evening appointments as much as we can :) But all in all we're doing great! We can still ride our bikes, and we've stayed pretty warm - but I am a little nervous for when the real winter sets in! :)

Well it turned out that this week was not the week for Eiko san to be baptized. She hasn't been feeling well for the past week or so, and so we weren't able to have any lessons with her this past week - we met her once for about 15 minutes at her door, we just stopped by to see how she was doing - and although she is sick, she expressed how fortunate she feels to have met the Mormon church, and she is even keeping the Word of Wisdom! We are hoping to meet with her in the middle of this next week when she starts feeling better and set a new date. We tried so hard all week to be able to have her be ready for this past Sunday, fasting and praying, and doing everything we could think of - but it wasn't the timing that the Lord has in mind. But we know that he does have a time in mind, and that everything will happen when it is supposed to happen. And although we didn't see a baptism this week, we had so many other blessings in return! We got a call from an investigator that we haven't talked to in a few weeks, and she made an appointment with us! We were able to meet with a part member family for the first time since I've been here and rebuild a really good relationship with them - the daughter is about 17, a recent convert of about two years and recently she's been inactive, but she loves Joseph Smith and knows he was a prophet. Her mom loves the missionaries and I really feel she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and of prayer - she just has to overcome some word of wisdom addictions, but she knows it is true. Then on Sunday we had one of our investigators show up at church unexpectedly! It was 2 hours after church had ended of course, but luckily there was a Relief Society activity going on and we had just happened to come back to the church to talk to a member when she came in! She was able to reconnect (she's been investigating for about 15 years - the last time she came to church was about 10 years ago! ) with a lot of the members, a few of which even remembered her and made her feel welcome which was great!

I've learned that as a missionary, and in life, it is important to plan - but more important than the plan you make is that through planning you show God that you are willing to work - and when you show him that effort he will bless you with His plan, which often times is totally different from the one you prepared :)

I'll end this week with a scripture that I have come to love, Alma 26: 35-37
"Now have we not great reason to rejoice? yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had such great reason to rejoice as we... for (God) has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on His name.
...For this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from an everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of his people...
... Now my brethren we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen"

I love you all! Thank you for your support, love and prayers!

I hope you are all doing well! How was the mission president's seminar in Korea?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Sheri Budge

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week 11 - Fruit desirable to make one happy :)


Thank you for your letters this week! It seems like it is rare now to have a week without some life changing news like a baby or a move, or a mission call, or something like that! You are all amazing, I love you tons! I wish I had more time to respond to you each personally, but just know that I love you all, and I am grateful everyday for your wonderful influences and examples for me. I have the best family and friends in the world!

This week was a very busy one, and it was great! I don't know why but for some reason Mondays, the day that we get to do our shopping, it is always raining - so we are getting pretty good at using the space in our baskets wisely and bicycling in the rain :) But despite the wetness and the cold, rainy days are actually pretty fun! We have a saying that when there is rain, we will meet a kinjin! (or a "golden person"- someone ready to accept the gospel :) ) This week on Wednesday it was pouring rain - yes! We were able to make an appointment that morning with a potential investigator that the Elder's had found, and she was amazing! She was so excited about the gospel, and has been reading the Book of Mormon that the Elder's gave her - she has been going through some rough times recently - her husband has been in a coma for a long time, i don't know exactly how long, and she has just recently moved so she can be closer to the hospital to visit him more often. She is very optimistic though, and has a fighting type personality. I am very excited to meet with her again! After a few hours of housing in the rain, we decided to stop at a Nepalese curry house for dinner - we've been there a few times before and are pretty good friends with all the workers there :) There was no one else in the restaurant, so we ended up talking to the 4 people who work there half in Japanese and half in English, and sometimes with the help of a Nepalese to Japanese dictionary about God, religion, the end of the world - (he brought up the movie 2012 and asked us if we believed that it would happen next month - we told him that there was no way to tell, but probably not :) ), and the purpose of life. It was super fun! We wanted to get some Book of Mormons to bring them next time, but apparently it hasn't been translated into Nepalese yet... I guess we'll have to stick with the Japanese/English/Nepalese method :)

Our investigator, Eiko san still has a baptismal date for next week, and we are trying as hard as we can to make it go through - but the adversary is working pretty hard to make it fall through too. Before we were worried about opposition from her husband and daughter, but now it looks like that is okay, but her parents are now opposed to her baptism. She was gone all last week visiting her parents who were recently hospitalized so we haven;t been able to have a lesson with her in about a week and half, but we have been keeping in touch. She comes back in town tomorrow so we are planning on meeting with her everyday if we can to help her overcome these trials and be able to receive baptism - if not this week than very soon after that! But we feel pretty strongly that she is supposed to be baptized this week. She really feels that this is the true church and knows that it is good. Keep her in your prayers! :) And us too! :)

I guess that's all for this week, I'm just about out of time - one last story to end it off. We met with an investigator this week who told us that the reason he and his wife enjoy having us over is because of the energy and light that we have - he jokingly said, "I don't know whether its because you read this Book of Mormon, or because of something delicious you ate - but you are so happy!". We were able to then turn to 1 Nephi 8:10-12 and talk about a fruit, most desireable and sweet to make one happy, and how to grow that fruit in Alma 32. The seed is faith, and we grow it by living the gospel. The fruit is eternal life, or one day living with God again. The gospel brings happiness! So we are happy because we read the Book of Mormon, and because we hope to one day have that delicious fruit, not just by ourselves, but with our family and friends too!

I look forward to one day eating that delicious fruit, desireable to make one happy, with all of you!

I love you!! have a great week!


Sister Budge

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 10 - Blessings Come Through Trials - Ganbarimasho!

Aisuru Kazoku -

Hello!!! I don't have too much time to write today, so I will try to get everything I want to say in as fast as I can!

First off, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!! It had been sitting at the honbu - I guess they can only forward packages if they are sent through regular mail so in the future that would be the fastest way - but I was able to get it when the Evans came to Obihiro for the zone conference last week - it was wonderful!! I love the cardigan, and I wear the socks everyday during personal study, and you know i love the Almond chocolate - really everything was perfect! You are so thoughtful, thank you so much!
I don't know why but for some reason recently the amount of food that we have been receiving from people has increased dramatically - from packages, from various presents at zone conference (for being a bean-chan, having a birthday, the cleaning check, halloween - it was really quite fruitful! :) ), and then from the fruits basket, investigators - even yesterday and today from our neighbors and the cleaning lady at the apartment! The cleaning lady, Kitayama san is amazingly nice - we spent about 4 hours with her today, learning how to make harumaki (spring rolls), and a few other things. She just gave us all the materials and then all the spring rolls at the end too - she wouldn't accept any kind of payment at all! They were delicious by the way - shiso, chicken and umeboshi and the wrap, thats it - they are SO good. Anyway. We are trying to figure out what to do with all the food - we didn't have to do any shopping today at all, it was great!

The most surprising thing this week was that we got to do another Sister's exchange! I got to work with Arashiyama shimai from Osaka, who is on her last transfer. She is an amazing missionary - you can just feel her power and her testimony when she talks and you know that she knows why she is here. I'm so sad that she is going home next transfer, I would have loved to become her companion someday! The way things worked out we only got to dendo together for about 5 hours in Obihiro, but in those five hours we were able to make 5 appointments! It was amazing! It really was so neat, as soon as we got to the area that we had decided to dendo in, I just had such a good feeling about it, like that was really where the Lord wanted us to be at that time. If I have learned anything on my mission it is to never make a decision by yourself. We pray before everything we do, and more than ever before in my life I have truly been able to feel and recognize the Holy Ghost giving us answers and guiding us. It is such a fun feeling, and so rewarding when we follow it! The sisters exchange was a really good experience, despite the 10-11 hours total I spent on the trains going to and from and to and from Sapporo - its amazing how much you can learn from someone in just one day!

We are kind of in an interesting spot right now, where we don't have too many investigators that are progressing as much as we'd like, but there are a ton of people that we are just starting with that have a lot of potential, so we are working hard now on making appointments. We are still meeting Eiko san, but recently her family has started to become more opposed to her getting baptized - we are hoping to be able to meet with her family as well to help them have a better understanding of the church. Hopefully everything will work out soon - keep her in your prayers!

There is never a dull moment as a missionary! You truly have to be ready for anything - which is impossible to do by yourself, but with the Lord all things are possible! Which reminds me Mom, thank you so much for sending me your talk! It really touched my heart, and you said a lot of things I really needed to hear. I'm not surprised at all that they ask you to speak all the time! Dad, I am excited to look for "lovingkindness" in the Book of Mormon - I'll let you know when I find it :)

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your support! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Budge