Thursday, December 26, 2013


Dearest Family and Friends,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! It is Christmas Eve Eve here, and just yesterday it
started snowing a TON! Before that it really only snowed once, and
just left a bunch of ice on the roads - but we woke up this morning as
well to pure white all around outside- its going to be a white
christmas! I love what you are doing in the Tokyo Mission for a
"White" Christmas! This time of year really is so special and there is
such a special spirit in the air. Yesterday was a wonderful day - an
investigator from one of my old areas, I only got to teach her once
before I transferred, but I heard about her often because my roommates
at the time were teaching her - got baptized! She has changed so much.
When I met her she was very quiet, and very shy. I remember going with
the elders that first lesson and them asking her to pray at the end
and she tried - we waited maybe a good 20  minutes for her to work up
the courage to pray out loud - I don:t think she ended up doing it
that day - but from what I hear now she is very happy, very talkative,
and she has absolutely no problem praying, or with any of the
commandments! This gospel has the power to change people.
This week in Shinkotoni has been amazing!! We have been working really
hard, and are seeing a lot of miracles. I will try and share a few.
The other day we were going around trying to visit as many
non-attending members as we could and share a Christmas message and
give them some Christmas cookies (thank you mom for sending so many
gingerbread cookies! We ate a few, and have been handing out the rest-
everyone loves them!). Anyway, we decided that as we were going we
would talk to the people on the street, and if there were any houses
that caught our interest we would stop by and ring the doorbell - but
mainly focus on the non-attending members. At one point we passed this
ginormous apartment building - auto lock and probably 10 or 11 floors
with 15 or so apartments on each floor. We were just talking, and
saying that of all of those people living there there has GOT to be at
least one person that is ready for this gospel! We obviously did not
have time to call every room however, so we said a prayer, and then
chose 2 apartments that had cute decorations on the windows, and
decided to just do those 4. We dialed in the number of the first one
we chose, and a Christian lady answered. We told her that we were
going around sharing a Christmas message and treat with everyone, and
would it be okay if we shared it with you as well? She said that her
husband was home, and for all the 50 years she had been Christian he
had been kind of against the church, but to wait a second because she
would come down to us. So she came down (that hardly ever happens in
auto-locks!), we sang The First Noel together, and shared Alma 7:10-13
about the birth and atonement of Christ - and how the atonement is the
reason that we have reason to celebrate His birth. She is a firm
believer of the Bible, and only the Bible, and wasn:t too sure about
this other book, but we were able to introduce it, and she accepted a
copy of the Book of Mormon, and a return appointment after winter
break is over! Of the hundreds of people in that apartment building,
God led us right to who we needed to talk to - on the very first try!

Another miracle happened with no expectation on our part - but it
touched my heart. There is a lady, Ota san, a non-member who attends
church and eikaiwa and most activities very faithfully, but has not
been meeting with the missionaries for some reason - we are hoping to
change that soon if we can! But this week, she brought a friend,
Watanabe san with her to church! We had no idea she was coming, but
sat next to them all during church. First, the RS lesson was all about
Tithing. Then Gospel Principles was about Exaltation and all of the
regulations and requirements to receive it. For someone's first time
at church we hoped that those topics weren:t too overwhelming. Before
Sacrament meeting started I asked her what had brought her to come to
church today - she simply said that she had never been before, and
just wanted to see what it was like, that was all. We had sacrament
meeting. It was a wonderful meeting, with lots of Christmas music, and
great, honest speakers. After the meeting ended I turned to her
sitting next to me, and asked her how it was. She proceeded to open up
to me, and tell me how she has been wanting to change for a long time.
I guess often when people see her they think she is not very happy,
and maybe kind of a dark person, and that made her so sad. She said, I
want to be a happy person, I want to smile more. In the past she has
tried a couple of different religions, hoping that they would help her
change - but she felt one was too expensive, and the other had too
many requirements and regulations and in the end neither helped her
see the change she wanted to see in herself. Then she saw her friend,
the one that brought her to church. She too had been a fairly unhappy
person before- always someone depressed and rarely with a smile on her
face - but not anymore. Now she hardly ever doesn:t have a smile on
her face! Watanabe san saw this change in Ota san, and wondered if
maybe this church she had been going to could help her have this same
change - and so she had decided to come. After the first too classes
she said she had felt unsure about whether this was the place for her
- but sacrament meeting was different she said. After sacrament
meeting she said she felt such a good feeling - and even began to tear
up in one of the songs - a feeling like she should continue to look
into this church, like maybe this is where she could finally make the
change that she so desperately wants. I listened and testified that
this was the place for her - we were able to set up an appointment for
Christmas afternoon to meet and tell her more - and she said she plans
on coming back next week for sure. The spirit was so strong as I just
sat there listening to her explain in her own words, the spirit that
she felt in that meeting. But she has a desire to learn, and a desire
to change, and we are so excited to be able to help her find the truth
that she has been searching for!

My stories always get so long, I apologize - but there is just so much
I want to say!
I love this gospel! There is no greater joy than helping others to
understand its joy and its significance as well. I love my Savior
Jesus Christ, and I know that anyone, through his gospel and his
atonement can have the power to change - to be who they want to
become. I am grateful for this Christmas season and the wonderful
spirit of Christ in the air!

I love you all so much! (see attatched picture)I hope you have a
wonderful Christmas, full of joy and love!


Sister Budge

Week 63 - Shinkotoni!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well I am in my new area, Shinkotoni, now! I love it! My companion
Sister Johnson is on her third transfer now, and is working really
hard on learning Japanese - I actually got to go on splits with her
once shortly after she first got here, and she has improved a ton
since then! She is from Spanish Fork, Utah, and the sweetest person
you could ever find. I am so excited to work with her!
We had the ward Chrsitmas party this Saturday and then church on
Sunday, so I got to meet a lot of the ward members early, and I am
doing pretty good on their names so far. There are about 50 or so
members that come every week, so I am hoping to have them all pretty
much down by next week before Christmas :)
It was so neat though, we were asked to attend Young Womens for the
first hour (they do it backwards), because as a Young Womens group
they made a Missionary Plan - inpsired by Elder Ballard's talk and the
family that had a Family Missionary Council one of the leaders decided
to do it with the Young Women. We came up with a list of some things
that we could do as YW, and came up with a list of people that we want
to be able to share the gospel with or to come back to church and made
a prayer list, talked about inviting friends to activities, and
sharing their light with the ward members, and strenghtening everyone
around them. We also decided to go out for about an hour just right
after church and go hand out flyers together - we split 3 and 3 -
1missionary, 1 leader, 1 YW - and went out in a blizzard to go pass
out flyers by the train station. It was so amazing to see the dendo
fire in the YW, and their leaders, and how supportive everyone was
when we got back to the church as well. People tend to linger after
church for a while here, and when we came back an hour later they had
some hot mugicha waiting for us by the door to warm us up. There is so
much dendo fire in this ward, I am so excited to work here!

We have one investigator in this new area, and she is doing really
well it seems - I am going to meet her tomorrow, but she has a
baptismal date for January 26th, that she made and committed to
herself. We are going to work really hard to help her acheive that
goal, and maybe even sooner than that if we can. I am excited to be
able to find a lot of new investigators, and those that are prepared
to hear the gospel here- I know that as we work our hardest, and be
obedient that God will bless us with those that are prepared to hear
the gospel.

I found some great scriptures the other day, and thought I would
share, first D+C 29:5-6 - God is waiting for each of our prayers, and
wants to answer them and bring us back home to him, and the other is
the introduction to the D+C. I have never payed too much attention to
that section before, but it really stuck out to me this time, and
confirmed to me that the D+C too is a strong testament of Jesus Christ
and his gospel, and is "of more worth than the riches of the whole

I love this gospel. I love sharing it with others, and the spirit that
comes with a testimony. I am grateful for each one of you and your
constant love and examples to me.

Until next week! May we all have the spirit of Christ (mas) with us every day!


Sister Budge

Week 62 - Hello!


Well it has been another very busy week, with all kinds of experiences - I can't even write about everything that i want to in my personal journal every night, so summarizing an entire week is especially difficult - but I will do my best!

So we started off the week by going down to Hakodate for the last zone conference this transfer- it took about 5 hours by car to get there which is why my email was so incredibly short last week - it was a very busy morning getting ready to go - it was a great conference though, and we got to do splits down there after and I got to work with Sydney Horne! We went to Waterford together - it was crazy! She was doing great! Super genki, and working so hard! Also in the same zone were Watanabe choro - who used to live in Tokyo with us, and Soderquist shimai who I took Japanese with at BYU! I put a picture in of the four of us together :) And one in front of Hakodate station. 

(Oh, and I just remembered, we went housing and met an old Eikaiwa student who said that he used to take Eikaiwa from Kent Gilbert, and Kent Derricott in Fukuoka when they were missionaries there - I didn't know they both served there - is that true? His name was Sato Masayuki, and he let me take a picture,  to see if either of them remember him or not - ring any bells? )

We got back to our area on Wednesday night, and have been able to work here since - it has been such a great week! We were able to do a musical christmas fireside at a member's house- we sang Angels We Have Heard on High, Hark the Herald Angels Sing with everyone, a couple sisters did a duet on guitar of Away in A Manger, and then me and one other sister did a duet of Ave Maria, and then I did a solo of Amazing Grace at the end, It was a really good turn out - maybe about 15 people came and it was a lot of fun - I love the Christmas season, there is so much spirit there! 
I did a lot of singing this week, we also got to sing A Child's Prayer in sacrament meeting with the Elders - I love that song. Probably more than any other it just brings the spirit so immediately and simply. 

Maybe it has a lot to do with being in the Evans' mission, but music is such a big part of dendo actually! We just had a lesson today with Oi san, one of my favorite investigators - she is so sweet, and so sincere. We had a great lesson today about Prayer, and Alma 36, and at the end I sang, and Sister Furue played her piano and we did Savior Redeemer, of My Soul for her. That song also brings the spirit so fast. We bore our testimonies at the end of the Savior, and how he truly understands every feeling that we have, and everything we go through - he is truly our Savior and Redeemer. At the end of our testimonies she began to cry - the first time I have EVER seen her cry. The spirit was so strong. We asked why she was crying, and she said that her and her mother had always thought that there was no one that could understand how they felt or what they were going through, but after that song and our testimonies she really felt like Jesus Christ could do that - that he would understand. And that brought tears to her eyes. I cannot think of any thing more beautiful than the moment that the spirit speaks to someone and they gain a testimony. The power of music is real. The spirit is real. Jesus Christ is our Savior, our dearest friend, and he does understand us more fully that we can comprehend. 

Well as you are aware we have transfers next week - I can't believe this will be my last one! Under normal circumstances I wouldn't know until tomorrow where I am going, but due to a big sister's split that we have planned on the day of transfers, we actually found out on Saturday! If you promise not to say anything to any of the missionaries here before tomorrow morning, then I can tell you that... for my last transfer... transferring to Shinkotoni!! It is a ward here in Sapporo, with two sisters, and no official elders - but elders that come regularly. I have actually never attended that ward, but I know a few of the members there so I am super excited! And for the first time basically, I will have an american companion! I have had two before, but Osterloh was half Japanese, and very good at Japanese, and Northrop shimai might as well have been half, and it was in a threesome with Nanjo shimai so this will really be my first time with just two gaijins - and for the first time in  a long time a two person apartment as well. 

I am so sad to be leaving Odori - I love the people here so much! But I am excited for this opportunity to work somewhere new, and I know that this is what the Lord wants! I am going to do my best to do everything that he has in store for me, I can promise that much!

I love this work, and I love all of you! Have a wonderful week!


Sister Budge

Week 61 - Happy December!

I'm sorry my time is so short today, I have to leave in about two minutes, but this week was so great, we had so many miracles, I got to go on koukans with some AMAZING sisters, see the Nakandakari Family - thank you for all of your prayers - three more of them have baptismal dates right now!, and had the most dendo inspiring sunday ever with a PMG class with all the members the third hour, and then a meeting after where we talked about how we can improve dendo in the ward. It was really great. 

Favorite scripture from the week: Alma 5:33-34. He is waiting. He loves us. 

I'm sorry this is so incredibly short, I will write more next week! (hopefully)

I love you all so much!!


Sister Budge

Friday, November 29, 2013

Week 60 - Good Stuff

Dear Family and Friends, 

Well this week was really great! We got to go on two splits, one back in Obihiro, my first area, and then one in my area now. One day in two hours we handed out two Book of Mormon's on the street, and they both said they wanted to hear more! One of them, was a man named Seto san. In our mission we aren't allowed to street contact the opposite gender, but we pulled into the parking lot of one of our investigator's apartment buildings that we had decided to drop in on. I had thought about calling to make an appointment before hand, but for some reason I felt we should just go unexpected. Seto san was the manager of the building, and he just happened to be out front raking some leaves as we pulled in. We said a friendly konnichiwa, and he said hello back - in English! He started talking to us in some of the English that he had taught himself from TV shows, and we had a nice little chat, and ended up inviting him to come to our English class - he accepted, and said he would come the next week! We gave him a flyer, and then went to drop in on our investigator. She ended up being busy getting ready to go to the dentist, and so we went back outside and started to get ready to leave. Earlier that day we had decided to try a new kind of dendo - and try to find a community service center that we could go to one, to look for good service projects, and two, to find good people that were searching for service opportunities that we could talk to around there. Anyway, as we were at our bikes getting ready to go, we realized that we had no idea where to start - then suddenly I had the thought to just ask Seto san - he would probably know. We caught him as he was walking in, but before we could ask him he had thought of some more English to use, and we just started talking again. He asked us if we were Mormon. We said yes. He told us a little about his life - how he is studying to be a land lord, and he is a ski instructor on the side. He said that he had kids once, but that they had passed away. He said he read a lot of books, and listened to a lot of religions, but he was never able to find  an answer that satisfied his soul - why did his little children have to die? What happened to them? But he said, I guess it just comes down to that everyone has to die at one point - there is nothing you can do. He asked us what we thought about death. We pulled out a Book of Mormon, and read Moroni 8:19 with him. It reads, "Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in him because of his mercy." He read that, and simply said, twice and in a loud voice, "Yes! Yes!". We exchanged contact information, and he said at the end, "I am very excited to learn about the Mormon church. I am looking forward to meeting again."
I'm grateful that we chose not to make an appointment with our investigator that day - because she would have said she was busy and we wouldn't have there. I'm grateful that she was busy. I'm grateful that he studied English which allowed us to spark up a conversation. I'm grateful that we chose to do a new kind of dendo that day that inspired us to talk to him once more - even though we never did end up getting to ask him about the community center. I know that God is watching over all of his children, and knows just where we need to be, and takes care of all the little details to make the perfect little moments for us to share the gospel. 

I am grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful that I don't ever have to stop being a missionary, because members are just as much missionaries as those of us wearing badges. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know it's true. I'm grateful for God and for his all-seeing eye and his perfect love. I'm grateful for my family - you are, and always have been such a strength and anchor in my life. I have been so blessed in my life!

Thank you for your letters/voicemails, and all your love and support! I love you!!


Sister Budge

Week 59 - Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

Dear Family, 

Well, it has started snowing up here in Sapporo! It's not sticking yet, but it is definitely snowing! We had a good week - we had a few exchanges with some sisters - dendoed in the hail, and witnessed a baptism in the ward, and at the end of the week I got to attend a practice for the Messiah Concert that we are doing at Christmas time. It was a busy week! 
We got a new Ward Mission Leader recently, Koyama Takuma Kyoudai - and he has so much dendo fire! We had our first Missionary Coordination Meeting this past week (I just had to ask the Elder next to me what you call that meeting in English - I have always just called it Dendo Chosei Shukai). and it was so energizing! I feel like working with the members will be a lot more smooth from here on out - he talked a lot about vision. Right now there is a problem in the church where the missionaries want to help the missionaries, and the members want to help the missionaries, but too often they perhaps use that as an excuse to not have their own vision and instead of helping each other move forward, we end up going in circles together. So we talked a lot about our vision as missionaries, and his vision as the ward mission leader, and how we could help each other move forward even more. We are trying to work towards the Christmas Goal - I am getting so excited for Christmas - there is just such a special spirit about Christmas - and after going to the practice for the Messiah, I have Christmas songs running through my head all the time now! Time goes by too fast.though. 

The Elders in our ward had an investigator get baptized this week - Iwasaki san - she was so sweet, she is in her 60s, and has such a pure simple sweet testimony. We were able to attend with Watanabe san and her 5 year old daughter, and it was a  really good experience! 

Thank you so much for your prayers - We are already starting to see the effects in both of the families! 

I love being a missionary. I know that there is no greater work - even when people turn us down, or tell us that we should probably quit that whole religion thing. I just wish they could Come and See, and know for themselves the deep and abiding peace and happiness - the goodness that is in this gospel!

You are all in my prayers! Please keep me in yours as well! :) 
Have a great week! I love you all!


Sister Budge

Week 58 - And This Transfer I Am....

Dear Family, 

Well this past week we had transfer calls, and this transfer after 5 transfers here in Odori, I am.... STILL IN ODORI!!! And I am still with Sister Furue, as STL - I am so happy! I don't know why I have been so blessed to be here for so long- this will be my eighth month here. I really feel like I still need to be here though - there are still people that I am supposed to meet - a work that I am supposed to do here - and I am so glad that I have been given more time to do it! 
Its been a great week though! Staying as an STL is a rare opportunity, in that in transfer week we usually don't do any exchanges so we had a whole week to work just in Odori! The highlight of the week was with the Watanabe family. We had a lesson where we taught the gospel of Christ, and we tried really hard to make it really fun for her 11 and 5 year old kids. We ended up using the whiteboard a lot and acting out every part of the faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end - it was really fun! Yoshiki kun, her 11 year old son was really great, he listened so intently, and asked so many great questions, he always thinks really thoroughly about everything. And he committed to being baptized the same day as his Mom!! December 22nd! 
We had Stake Conference this week, and Watanabe san came and brought her friend's daughter, that we have met a couple times just at some activities with her too! We had no idea she was going to bring her! So that was a nice surprise! Also, after the conference, The Kato family was so nice and came to say hello! I guess Brother and Sister Kato are here for the weekend, and made a special trip to come say hello! I am sending a picture :) 

I am running out of time, but I am so grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission, and to be here in Sapporo, with my companion right now, with the investigators we have now - I love the people here!!
I have learned that the funnest days are the days where you get to testify - just have no fear and choose to testify boldly to anyone that listens. There is no better way to feel joy!

I love you all so much! I testify this to people on the streets all the time, but no matter how far away we live, I always feel your love and your support, and your prayers! 


Sister Budge

Week 57 - Happy Halloween!

Dear Family, 

Happy Halloween! We had our Halloween party this past weekend, so I feel like Halloween is over already - the real Halloween is simply our transfer day, which is possibly the scariest Halloween I have had yet! I know I will love any new area I go to, but I love my area now - I don't want to leave! We'll see what happens! :)

This week we went on splits to Hakodate and to Obihiro - both of which take about three hours to get to in opposite directions - so it was a lot of travel this week! We were able to see a lot of miracles though, it was truly a blessing. On these splits I gained a new appreciation for Alma 37:37 "when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let they heart be full of thanks unto God". I had two experiences: The night before we were supposed to leave Hakodate on a train we got a call saying that due to a landslide in the rain no trains were going in or out of Hakodate. We scrambled and got a reservation for a bus instead, although it meant that we would have almost no time in Sapporo before we had to go on to Obihiro for the next splits. The next morning came, and we decided to go and at least check the trains, if nothing else to see if we could get our money back for our unusable tickets. But when we went to check - all the trains were running! All through the night, in the rain workers had gone to fix the tracks, and miraculously we were able to go as originally planned on the earliest train out of Hakodate, arrive earlier in Sapporo, and have a really wonderful lesson on the restoration with an investigator in that time that we had been given. We were so happy to be on that train! And I thought it was interesting as we rode, that had we not been told of the landslide the night before we would never have known that it was a miracle to be on that train, and I probably wouldn't have thought twice about it. 
Story number 2, is when we were in Obihiro. I woke up in the middle of the night to a fairly long earthquake. As I looked around at the other 4 sisters in the apartment no one else had woken up, and all of them were just peacefully sleeping, as I sat there wide awake waiting for the earthquake to die down. It went on for a fairly good amount of time, but it did stop, and everything was totally fine. I said a prayer of gratitude, and then went back to sleep. The other sisters woke up just as always, never knowing that they had been protected through the night. 
I know that just as President Eyring said in his talk in conference that angels are sent to watch over us! I know that in countless ways the Lord watches over this children, he watches over me!, when we are sleeping, and even we are awake, but simply not aware. This week I was blessed to be made aware of some of the ways he is watching over me, but I know that there are so many more that I will never even know about - but either way I can rise in the morning with my heart full of thanks to God, for his love, his protection, and the gift of another great day! 

I wish I could write about every day in detail - all the people that I was able to meet again in Obihiro (I am sending one picture of me with Onodera Eiko shimai, a sister that got baptized when I was there last year), and everything else! I am also sending a picture of the Halloween Party - it is me and my companion, and Watanabe san and her two kids, Aika chan and Yoshiki kun :) Yes, I was a Japanese High School Girl ;)

I hope you all have the most wonderful weeks! May we all wake up every morning with a heart full of thanks! 
I love you all so much! 


Sister Budge

 (P.S. I am sorry that I have been so terrible at writing hand written letters! Please know that you are all in my heart always, and in my prayers! Love you!)

Week 56 - Hello!!

How are you? Thank you all for even more birthday notes and emails, and so many pictures this week! And Mom, Dad, and Danny thank you so much for the package! And Landon and Becky, Asher, Claire, and Reid - thank you for your package too!! The tights are super nice - and all of the treats are delicious! Especially the mangoes :) I felt so much love - and it was actually better that they came after my birthday - it just extended the fun!!

This week was a crazy busy week - We only ended up having about 5 hours of finding time in our area this week due to attending all the zone conferences and going on splits - but we were able to have some lessons which was a blessing. One in particular was very memorable. We met a lady named Chin san, from Taiwan on the street a couple weeks ago. She is a really nice lady in her mid 50s, here for only about a month studying Japanese. We met her and originally made the appointment to share a message, in Japanese so that she could study. But when we went she ended up speaking almost all English (which she is very fluent in) and asking a ton of really good questions. We gave her a Book of Mormon, and asked her to read it, she said she would read about 10 pages. That was about all we had time to talk about, and then we didn't see her until the next week. She read the first 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon, and had even more questions this time as we went through the Restoration pamphlet with her. The spirit was so strong in the lesson, especially when Furue shimai bore her testimony (in English!) about how she gained a testimony growing up in the church. We asked her how she was feeling listening to our message and she said she felt a really warm feeling - a feeling hard to describe, but a good feeling. We explained to her that that was the spirit telling her that what we were telling her is true. She felt it so strong! She then asked us how she could meet the missionaries in Taiwan, and gave us her contact information so that the missionaries could get a hold of her in Taiwan, and so she could go to church there! "Kin" san was really a "Kin-jin!!" It was a beautiful moment, and a beautiful lesson. 

I am looking forward to this upcoming week-  no meetings - just a lot of work! It is definitely getting a little bit colder now - pulling out my coats and gloves! 
I love what your mission is doing about the baptisms by Christmas - the missionary version of Elder Ballard's challenge to members to invite one friend by Christmas. If I can be a part of this, I would love it if when you could to please pray for the Watanabe Family in Moiwa, and the Nakandakari family in Atsubetsu. 

I'll just end with sending some pictures  - Me and Irina san, our Russian Investigator, and then me and Soderquist shimai in Muroran - we were actually in the same Japanese class at BYU before the mission. 

Well, winter is coming on, so everyone stay happy and healthy! 

I love you all!


Sister Budge

Week 55 - Hello!!

Well I am officially 21 years old! It honestly doesn't feel very different at all actually - I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it was sure fun! Thank you all so much for your love and birthday wishes!! On my birthday we ended up having a family home evening with Watanabe san, our investigator's family at a members house - it was super fun! And Watanabe san bought me cake and a beautiful scarf - it was a great birthday! 
Mom, thank you so much for the package! It arrived on Saturday - but we weren't home at the time so we asked them to come back tomorrow when we will be there - so I haven't opened it yet - but I am so excited! eternal birthdays are the funnest kind :)

Oh my goodness I loved General Conference this week. It was just what I needed to hear. I have been thinking a lot about how the gospel can bless families recently - there have been some hard things in the families of my investigators that have been kind of hard for me to digest recently. I wondered why when at least part of their family was trying so hard to live the gospel, why things had to be so hard. I think of my family, and I know without a doubt that the gospel has blessed us beyond measure, and will continue to be the single most important thing to the strength and happiness of our family, but seeing some of the hardships in their lives made me wonder if those same kind of blessings can really be theirs as well. I was thinking about that, listening to conference and I was so impressed by how often the speakers emphasized keeping the commandments. Simply being associated with the gospel does not necessarily bring blessings. It is when we have faith, and act on that faith - do our best to keep the commandments that the blessings come. God promises to strengthen families - as they work together to follow him. I loved President Eyring's talk, and what he said about marriage, "Marriage require the help of heaven, and it takes time" and that There is not a single person or family in the world that he does not desire to save, or that he has not devised a means by which to save them. I realized that although I cannot make them keep the commandments and thereby receive the multitude of blessings that come thereby, I can love them. Perhaps I too am here at this time to do just that - love them and help them feel that God loves them as well. I cannot control what happens in the lives of the investigators and friends, and family that I love, but I can decide to love. I can decide to live my life in the best way that I can, and qualify for all the blessings that I need to be able to be an angel of support for them. We all need angels. I am so grateful for the countless angels that I have in my life - both those that I can and can't see. I want each of you - my wonderful family, and special friends- to know that you are angels to me in the realest sense. Thank you so much for your faithfulness, for your love, for your examples, and for your lifting strength. 

I love the emphasis that was put on Loving God, and then loving your neighbor this conference. God asks us to love him first, because only through loving God and receiving the blessing that come from living the way he wants us to can be have the ability or strength to truly love ourselves, or those around us. 
If any one reading this feels like they are not loved, or that they cannot love - look up. Look to God. He loves you. He is waiting for you. He will never stop loving and waiting and hoping for you. Love him, and have the confidence that he loves you. There is no better beginning. 

I love this gospel! I love my Heavenly Father. I know that the gospel is a blessing to families, when they choose to live it, and that it can be a support to those who choose not to. I know the gospel has blessed me with my family, and blessed my family more than I can probably ever know. 
I love you all so much! 

Sister Budge

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week 54 - Happy October!!


Well it has been another crazy week here in Sapporo! I was gone for most of the week on splits, which made the week fly by even faster! Just when I get back and ready to work in Odori again it is Sunday and the week is nearly over again! It really makes us use the time we have wisely! We are also gearing up for a Zone Training Meeting this week - we are doing a workshop on Teaching with Your Companion in Unity, and then next week we have three zone conferences where we are introducing the new Family English program that we are starting up here soon. It will be a good week!

I can't believe how fast October is flying by! It does not feel like it is going to be my birthday this week - my second and last birthday as a missionary - not sure how I feel about that!
Dendo is such a blessing! Recently as I have had the chance to work with some of the younger missionaries I have had a chance to remember and reflect on how my dendo has changed since I was a bean. I have learned how to more naturally tie the gospel into everyday conversations. I am getting better at asking questions that help people really think about the message we have to offer. I still have lots to learn and many many ways to improve - but I know I have grown. Especially now as an STL getting to go on splits all the time - I feel like I just learn constantly from everyone. I think that is why they called me as an STL - they knew I needed to learn more than anyone else!

I will end with a simple suggestion for scripture study - recently I started reading the Old Testament and decided to compare Moses with Genesis as I read. I can't think of anything that has made me more appreciative for modern day scripture!! There is nothing that is in the BIble that is not in Moses - but an incredible amount in Moses that is lost in the Bible. And those little things all testify so powerfully and simply and wonderfully of Jesus Christ as the Son of God - reading Moses testifies so plainly of the Godhead from the very beginning of the world. I couldn't stop reading it! So if anyone is looking for a fascinating place to study, and a way to increase your testimony of the Savior - I would suggest a comparison study of moses and Genesis. 

Thank you all for your birthday emails! I have the greatest family ever! 

The gospel is true, and I love you all!


Sister Budge

Week 53 - Hello!!


This week was great! We had our first koukans (exchanges) of this transfer in Otaru and Eniwa - I got to work with two gaijin sisters on their second transfer - neither one had ever taken Japanese before their missions, but they are doing so well! I am so grateful that I had a background in the language before I came - I have so much respect for the missionaries that come without knowing anything at all. That is a big hurdle to overcome! But I have a testimony of the gift of tongues and that it is with every missionary. Before I used to think that the gift of tongues meant that one day you would just find yourself speaking Japanese fluently without a thought or care, and that you would understand everyword people said to you. There may be times when that happens, but I have found more that the gift of tongues has more to do with the spirit - that as you try your best to say something - especially to testify the spirit is there to testify of whatever you say and bring your words into the heart of the other person - and the other way around - to give you the gift of understanding - not necessarily their words, but their hearts. Some of the most powerful questions and testimonies I have heard on my mission have come from first and second transfer gaijin sisters in broken or simple Japanese, who simply know that the gospel is true, and how important this message is for the person to whom they are speaking. 

I will end my letter today with a special experience that I had this week. This week we had plans to teach Lesson 3, the Gospel of Christ to Watanabe san, and had a chance to mogi the lesson with a member the day before we were planning on sharing it. The mogi went well and we got a good idea of how to work together to teach the lesson - but during the lsat part of the lesson I suddenly found myself not completely focused on what my companion was explaining so well about Baptism - I just all of the sudden was imagining in my head that Watanabe san and I were sitting in the Celestial Room of the temple together. I began to think of how incredibly happy and joyous that would be to sit in the temple with her. As I sat with this image in my mind for a minute or so, I realized that my joy in that moment would surely be entirely surpassed by the joy of her deceased husband who I felt so strongly in that moment would be there waiting for her. It came my turn to teach again and I returned to talking about the Gift of the Holy Ghost - but I coudln't stop thinking about the temple, and how incredible it would be, how badly I want to go with her! When I shared some of these feelings with Shibata shimai (the member, and actually Janna's old missionary companion) she suggested that it may not be a bad idea to even share a lesson about temples with Watanabe san the next day - something we usually wouldn't do until much later. We prayed about it as a companionship and decided that we would save lesson 3 for later, and teach her about temples and family history work the next day. 
It was a beautiful lesson - the spirit was so strong, I was able to share with her my testimony of eternal families, and my desire for her family to be eternal as well - and the key significance of the temples in allowing us to do that. Watanabe san expressed her desire to go to the temple, and when we asked her how she felt about baptism, she said that when she first started meeting with us she didn't really know much about God, but now she feels like she really knows that he is there, that he is good, and she wants to be baptized! We let her choose her own date - which she did and even wrote it down in her planner. She chose December 22 - the first Sunday after the Moiwa church building is done with construction. We also have a goal of going to the Sapporo temple when that is complete! Oh my goodness I can't even explain how happy I was/am! She is so wonderful, and her kids are too, and I am so excited to help them on this new road they are starting in their lives!! I know this gospel is true and it blesses families. There is not a doubt in my mind. There is not a doubt in my heart. I will be with my family forever. I will see Uncle Jared, and Grandma Capener, and many others I have not even met yet. 

I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all of your letters and support! I love hearing about all the wonderful things you are doing - Dan man - I can't believe you threw the touchdown pass! congrats! And it sounds like almost everyone is working with the missionaries wherever they are, New York, Philadelphia, Japan - I can't recommend anything more!

I love you all so much!! I hope you all have a great day, and a great week - Conference is coming up in America - I can't wait to hear it!


Sister Budge  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 52 - Sorry this week is going to be short....


I'm sorry this week is going to be really short - President Evans has arranged a Baseball activity for all the missionaries in Sapporo - to go and see The Hokkaido Fighters play at Sapporo Dome, and we are having a barbeque in about two minutes so they are telling me I have to get off the computer - so I'll make it short!

First: This week was transfers, and I am still in Odori! I am still STL, but I have a new companion, named Sister Furue, from Kagoshima - she is wonderful! Honda shimai went to Atsubetsu, one of my old areas. We now have 43 sisters in the mission and still only two STLs! We'll see how this goes! 

I found out that one of my old investigators in Atsubetsu is scheduled to be baptized this week! Her name is Shiga san, and she has been an investigator for over a year - she comes to church more fatihfully than a lot of members - I am so happy that she is finally going to be baptized! 

We have been so blessed recently with investigators and members that are willing to team up and dendo with us - the member fire is really amazing! We got a call this week from a member, calling to ask us when we had time to dendo with her! We had a couple of hours before an appointment and we were able to go with her to a ton of non active members - it was great! I don't know what it is, maybe because we are travelling so much and only know we have a few days to be in our area, but it seems like everyday we have here has just been chock-full - and it is so much fun! We are working hard, are exhausted every night in the best way and loving being a missionary just as much as ever! 

Sorry its so short this week - I love you all so much! The gospel is true! It brings so much joy and love into our lives. 

I'll write again next week!


Sister Budge

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 51 - A Week Full of Miracles

Dearest Family!!

Hello! I heard that Danny got a day off of school for rain today - I think it is coming up here too! Its been raining at least a bit everyday up here - this morning for exercise the four of us went to a near by park and played in the rain - Its fun when you can come back in and shower right after :) 

This week has been a really fun week - so many of our investigators are starting to really progress, and turn to a really good direction - I am so excited for them! We have one Russian investigator, Irina san that for the longest time has refused to pray, and has told us countless times that her heart is hard as stone - but recently we have started going with a member, and had her over to a Family Home Evening at another members house - and last time we went over she said that her heart is half softened - and she agreed to come to church week after next, AND she PRAYED at the end of the lesson! She wouldn't say "Dear Heavenly Father", but she said what she was grateful for, and said Amen at the end - the first time I have ever heard her say that - oh my goodness I was SOOOO Happy! I had almost given up hope on her, but I have a lot of hope now! 

Another investigator, Oi san has been our investigator for a couple months now, but she is recovering from some anxiety problems, and up until now we have only ever been able to go without appointments - but we have gone every week, and we leave her letters everyweek with scriptures and a message because she doesn't feel comfortable taking a Book of Mormon - but recently she has been bringing back out the letters all marked up with questions and things she wants to know more about, and she is praying on her own! We usually go on the weekends, but this week we just had a really full schedule and it was iffy if we were going to be able to go on Sunday afternoonor not. But then at church we got a call from an unknown number - and it was Oi san! She was calling to let us know that she was going to be out that day, so she just wanted to make sure that we weren't planning on coming by that day so she wouldn't miss us! We were SO happy- she seems to be really looking forward to our visits every week - and for the first time we were able to make an appointment to come back today! 

There are so many miracles that happen everyday - ones that we see and ones that go on in the lives of our investigators that we never know are happening until we go and follow up with them. Following up is possibly one of the most important principles of missionary work I think. I know this gospel is true! It really is such an amazing gift that we have!! I feel so blessed to have this time to study and learn about the gospel. 

I love you all so much! It sounds like transfers are going to be pretty crazy this week - good luck! We'll see how things turn out up here too - with so many missionaries now it is almost impossible to guess at all. Of course I will do whatever the Lord wants to me to do - but I do not want to transfer!! We'll see how far that hope carries me! 

Love you so much!!


Sister Budge

Week 50 - Sushi, How Great Thou Art, and our Investigators at Church!

Dear Family, 

This week was so much fun! We were blessed to be able to have a lot of different lessons, and work a lot with the members. And partly because of the duet that we sang in sacrament meeting this week, we had 5 investigators come to church!! Oh my goodness, I was SO happy! I was happiest about our investigator Watanabe Megumi san and her two daughters who got to stay for Young Womens  and Primary - They seemed to really enjoy it! We didn't think they were going to be able to come because it was Manami chan (the oldest daughter)'s birthday, and they were going to be busy with that. So accepting that, we just planned on dropping by and leaving her a birthday cake and message on the doorstep before church and leaving it at that, but they ended up coming! I am so excited about their family - they are starting to do things with other members of the ward, almost without any connection to us, and she even brought a friend to an activity with her the other week! We plan on making a new baptismal date with her this week, because she won't be able to come to church enough times before the current date.Pray for us!
The Moiwa ward building is going under construction starting today for the next three months, so we took a picture with everyone in front of the building as one last memory of the building as it is now. I think this is the oldest church building in Hokkaido - it will be fun to see what the new one looks like! Hopefully I will still be here to see it! :) 

We got to go out to sushi this week with Sister Hayashi (who actually served in Shibuya when Dad was a bishop there), and Watanabe Megumi san - it was delicious, and we had a really good lesson about the Book of Mormon as well. As we were walking home afterwards we stopped and contacted a girl, and gave her a Book of Mormon, and got to be pretty good friends - when we told her that we had just gone to sushi, she said that she loves sushi, and so we made a plan to go to sushi with her today! Then last night we got a call from an investigator that wants to have us over for a Takoyaki party tonight - we have been wanting to meet with her for a while so we couldn't turn her down - we are just going to have to eat dinner twice! But if it means that we can meet with our investigators than we will just have to endure :) 

Recently I have been reading in Mosiah. I have always loved Mosiah, but reading it again has reminded me again how much I love it. I especially liked chapter 3 this time - it explains so simply about Christ and prophets. I especially love verse 13 - that talks about the joy of repentance and of the gospel. 

Thank you all for your love and support, and your emails everyweek! I love this work, I love each and every one of you so much! 

Have a fabulous week!


Sister Budge

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Week 49 -

Dear Family, 

Happy September! I don't know if its happy or not, I can't believe how fast the time is flying by - its going way too fast! I am pretty sure that summer has ended now - its been raining pretty solidly for the past few weeks, and everyone seems pretty skeptical about the temperatures getting back up again - it is a perfect temperature for dendo - not too hot that you sweat a ton, but not too cold that you have to wear a coat :) its weird to be experiencing autumn here for the second time here - I love Hokkaido so much though, it is a beautiful place. 

We had a really good week! We had ZTM, and a big koukan with the sisters, and we were able to have a lot of member present lessons as well. It really makes such a big difference to have a member in the lesson, they just add so much experience, and just a better connection to the world that the investigators are living in so to speak - as missionaries we can form a really strong bond, but the members can definitely relate a lot more. 
We went to visit a less active member this week, her name is Ogawa Satoko and she is maybe in her 70s or 80s now - she suffers from Alzheimers (spl?) but she loves when we come over, and cries every time we sing a hymn together. She is so sweet. And actually has a really good voice! She showed us the first Book of Mormon that she received from the missionaries after she got baptized, and I looked at the address written there and it said 5 Dawn Hill Sandy, UT! Isn't that in Pepperwood? I don't know if Michael Day is still living there, but I feel like I have heard his name before... do you know anything about him? It'd be fun to get in touch with him somehow! 
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I am just about out of time this week, but I have to say before I leave, Grandma and Grandpa Budge - THANK YOU SO MUCH For the family reunion pictures and the explanatory letter with it! Oh my goodness you have a lot of great grandkids - and quite a few that I didn't even know about!! Congratulations everyone!! I have loved showing those pictures to people - I love our family!! 
Also, JANNA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Your first birthday as a mother, I hope it was wonderful in every way! You are an amazing sister, I love you so much!

I love you all so much! I love this gospel, and I love this work! 

Have a great week!


Sister Budge

Week 48 - Obihiro, Maruyama Dobutsuen!

Dear Family, 

This week was so much fun! We went on splits to Obihiro again, and I was again able to see a lot of natsukashi people, and actually set up a few appointments for the sisters there with some invetstigators that they haven't been able to meet with them for a while, so that is exciting. We found one potential investigator housing, and it was kind of a miracle - I was working with a sister who just barely got here about two weeks ago, still struggling with the Japanese, but not afraid to speak out. We were housing for a while and finally at one door she got tangled up in her words and instead of giving up and looking to me to fix it for her, she just kept trying to shout it out in as many ways as she could until the right one came out - I think the man on the other end probably out a mixture of amusement, sympathy, and admiration at her diligence told us to wait while he came to the door. He was a young man, probably in his twenties, and we were able to have a lesson about the Plan of Salvation, and make an appointment for the Elders to come back next week! Its been amazing to see all of the new missionaries with no Japanese experience whatsoever, and to see the blessings that God provides as we try our best and do whatever is in our power. 

There really are so many miracles everyday, so many people waiting for the gospel, and being prepared to here it. I am so excited to be in this work, and to see the hand of God, and to be an instrument in it! I rediscovered one of my favorite scriptures this week, Alma 26 verses 15 and 16. We are instruments, and that brings us to rejoice, because our joy if FULL! 

Sorry my letter is so short this week - we went to the zoo today, and we got home a little late - but here are some pictures from the zoo! yes. I enjoyed the monkeys very much :) And then there is one with my beloved companion, Sister Honda! As you can tell from the picture, she is a blast!
Love you all so much! 

Have a great week!


Sister BudgeInline image 2Inline image 1

Week 47 - Rain is poring all around!

Dear Family, 

Well another week has flown by - I don't know where the time goes! We did our first couple of exchanges this week with some sisters in Sapporo - I love going on exchanges! It is always so inspiring to see the other sisters and their diligence and love for the work. It is especially amazing to me now to see almost all of our sisters training - and so many of them still so very young in transfers - but they all are trusting in the Lord, and I know that "he will prepare a way for them to accomplish" this great work! 
I got to go back to Atsubetsu again this week, and meet an investigator that I taught when I was there - his name is Ohashi san. We taught him when I was in a threesome there, and so we could actually go inside to teach him. He has interest in learning about Christ, because he is intrigued by the incredible influence that he had on the world - but he doesn't have any desire to go any where beyond "knowledge". I guess since I have been gone there were some things that happened with the other missionaries and he stopped meeting with them - so he was super surprised that we came by. But we were able to have a really good conversation, and talk really openly about everything that happened, I was able to bear my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restoration, and in the end I think we were able to leave him with more positive feelings towards the missionaries and the church - and although he isn't really interested in taking discussions or anything he did say that he would try and come to eikaiwa - if not anything else that will at least help him to have again a positive image of the church again, and feel comfortable coming there. He also loves skiing and travelling, so I told him if he was ever in Utah to give us a call - he said he would! Maybe I can take him on a tour of Temple Square or something :) 

I can't remember if I told you or not, but for the musical number we have decided to do How Great Thou Art - we have me and Elder Sotto singing, and an Elder Mecham playing the piano for us - they are both amazing musicians so I am really excited about it. We are performing on the 8th of September - so we've got a few weeks. I'll see if I can record a few practices and try and send them home :) 

This week I was reading the Book of Mormon, and I came across a scripture that I have never really noticed before, but I LOVE IT!!  It is Jacob 3:1-2.

 "But behold, I Jacob would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. 
O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love: for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever."

Pray with faith, and he will console you! He will plead your cause! So lift up your heads, and accept His pleasing word, accept his invitation for help. Feast upon his love forever - because you can! It has no end, and he will never turn away from you. 
I know that our Heavenly Father is our Loving Father in heaven. He knows and loves and desires to bless each and everyone of His children. I am so grateful and humbled by this opportunity to be a part of that great work, and I want to make the best of every single moment. 

Thank you all for your examples, and your love! I feel your love and prayers always, and you are in mine also!


Sister Budge

Week 46 - A God of Miracles, Yesterday, Today, and Forever'

Dear Family, 

This week was wonderful!! We saw so many miracles, and met so many wonderful people! I'll kind of go day by day, and see how that goes :) 

Monday: We went housing and were able to give away two Book of Mormons! The first guy started out like he was going to reject us, but recently I have been focusing a lot on trying to testify boldy and from the heart - even when I am nervous - and when I was trying to figure out what to testify about to him - I remembered the Book of Mormon. I explained that it was this evidence that you can read, and hold in your hands - and that I knew it too be true. I think he was a little taken aback, and he suddenly seemed interested! He took the book, and we have an appointment to go back today! The next lady was an amazingly good person - she just was one of those people that you see and know they are just a good person. I wanted to give her the Book of Mormon, so I asked if she liked to read, and she said yes, I asked her what kind of books she likes, and she said she likes 1 - books that she can apply to her life, that have lots of good advice and things like that in it, and 2) history books. What better Book to fit those requirements than the Book of Mormon! We are going to go and visit her again today as well. 

Tuesday. We had a PI that we found just on sunday come to Eikaiwa! She had a really good time, and it was all because of a member that attended and sat next to her the whole time, and really became her friend. The miracle was that we had just invited that Sister to come to Eikaiwa the week before - this was her second week coming, and she turned out to be the PERFECT support for the new student - they were talking for a long time after class, and both promised each other to be there next week, and I was just so amazed at how well the Lord knows his children and what they need!

Wednesday. This miracle actually came because the new missionaries coming to Sapporo missed their flight in Tokyo and ended up coming a day late - but their trainers had already come down from the country areas - leaving two sisters in our apartment with nothing to do for a day. It worked out that I got to go on splits with my old companion Sister Nanjo, and we got to go back to our old area, Atsubetsu (because its still technically in my area now) and we got to see the Nakandakari family!! It was SO much fun - I don't know why we got to be so lucky! It was so good to see their family - they really feel like my second family, I love them so much! While we were there we also got to share a spiritual message - and we felt inspired to talk about the Book of Mormon. We talked about how the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion, and how everything else ultimately relies on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. The mom and dad said they had never really understood why the Book of Mormon was so important before - but now they understood. The Mom is still reading bit by bit, and I challenged the Dad to read with me - a race of sorts to read the Book of Mormon in Japanese by the end of my mission. Miyu chan is reading - but not everyday it sounds like - I am going to try and start following up with her a  little more proactively about that. The spirit was so strong in the lesson though. My favorite part was when the Dad explained to us his position right now, he said I am all ears right now, I am not turning anything down - but I want to know it all first before I commit. Once I know it, if I do find out its true, I will be really fast - when I commit I commit. I am just still in the learning phase. I am so excited for the day when he will know!

Thursday. We got to hear all the testimonies of the new missionaries that came in - it was amazing how much my dendo fire grew just from listening to their simply two minute testimonies! They are a really strong group - we have 11 new sisters and 9 new elders. One of the sisters went to Waterford, Sydney Horne, and another Monica Johnson I have met a few times before at different places (choir festivals, EFY, and BYU). 

Friday. was focused on Watanabe Megumi san, one of our investigators. She has four kids, and was able to come to a primary activity in the morning with her two younger ones - it was a really fun activity and she got to know and talk to a lot of the moms in the ward - she was really impressed and had a really good time. Then later that night was Sports Night - and activity that she comes to every week with her kids. We were able to meet today a little before and teach the Plan of Salvation, with two of her kids as well! The lesson went really well, they asked lots of questions, and understood pretty well. And we were able to make a Baptismal Date!!! She said that she feels like she has been guided to this church to bless her family. It was a GREAT day!

Saturday. We didn't have any lessons scheduled when we started that morning but as the day went on we were able to lessons with two investigators! One was Tanaka san, a brand new investigator, we had just given her a Book of Mormon about two weeks ago, but hadn't been able to have any lessons yet - but we called her and were able to make an appointment for that same day. We met, and were able to teach all of Lesson 1, and we found out that she had already read about a tenth of the Book of Mormon! It was amazing! She is super genki, and really has a desire to learn - probably because she is a school teacher :) She said she plans on reading the whole thing through at least once!

Sunday. We had the opportunity to take the sacrament (as always), and it really just meant a lot to me this week. Also that night we were able to meet with Watanabe Megumi san again - because she invited us to come see her older two kids (middle schoolers) perform on the Taiko drums at the park - we knew it would be a really good opportunity to build our relationship and trust with her family, and a great way to show support - and super fun!- so we went! I think it really meant a lot to her. Her husband passed away just last year, and I think it meant a lot to have someone to go and support her children with her. We took lots of pictures! (well mostly she did :) ) 

I know that this is the Lord's work! He is behind and through every step, and He knows where he needs us, and who needs us, and who we need. I know that he is a God of miracles, the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know that repentance is real. I know that God forgives, and that he heals. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that he loves each and every one of his children. I know that there are so many ways that I need to improve, and that I will never be perfect - but I know that He will always be there to support me and give me the strength to try.

I don't know if I always express enough how grateful I am for my wonderful family,  and all the  friends who have supported me and been the examples and strengths for me all my life. I love each and every one of you! Thank you so much! This gospel is true!


Sister Budge

Week 45 - Hello!!

Dear Family, 

Hello!! This week has been so good! We were able to visit a lot with members in the ward, and we are really starting to feel a close connection with the members. We really wanted to focus on the members and show them a lot of love. We heart attacked a few people, and just visited with as many people as we could. Moiwa ward is GREAT! They have such great dendo fire, and you can just feel the strength of their testimonies and their love for each other when you go to the ward. 

We had two exchanges this week, but they were both pretty close to our area, so we were actually able to have at least one of us working in our area every day this week! That may have been the first time this transfer that has happened. 
To answer some of your questions mom, about being Sister Training Leader, Yes there are still only two of us - everyone else needs to be a trainer! We have 11 new sisters coming this transfer bringing us to 37 total, of which 19 will be still in their first two transfers, or training. Yes, we went to all of the zone conferences, and just did a small workshop inside of the APs workshop about building a relationship of trust with the members. We also did a small meeting with Sister Evans and just the sisters where Sister Evans did some sister announcements and we had some time to say anything we wanted to as well - we just talked about the importance of exercise and eating healthily, and then we had a question and answer session with just the sisters there. Thats really about all we have done with Sister Evans so far, but one thing that she is doing that I think is really neat, is that she is making an effort to go on splits with a pair of sisters every week - with the ones that are reasonably close that is :) I don't know if that is something that is feasible in Tokyo or not, but it is always a really good experience it sounds like. I think we are working with her next transfer. 

Also for bags, I was using a backpack for a while, but then I guess that is not so good apparently, so now I am using a purse - it looks better probably, but it really doesn't hold up too well with all the scriptures and kind of heavy things that you have to carry around - so I don't know. Backpacks are definitely more comfortable, and hold up better, but purses do look better. Some sisters have the ones that have waist straps - those are probably the best. 
I did get the music too- I am so excited to use it! This transfer ended up being too late to try - hopefully I'll be able to next transfer! 

We are excited to see how things turn out this transfer with all the new missionaries coming - hopefully me and my companion Sister Honda wont have any changes... we'll see though. I know that this work is guided by the Lord - it has been such blessing to see the work going on in all different parts of the mission, and know that no matter where they are they are being guided by the spirit. 

I love this gospel. I love this work! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Sister Budge