Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 44 - Over One Year! Can't Believe how time flies.

First of all, Mom, thank you so much for the letter with all the pictures!!! We were gone from our apartment from Tuesday to Friday night going to zone conferences and things, and that was the best surprise ever to find that letter sitting on my desk when I got home! Those babies are adorable - those are my new favorite pictures to show people :) And Mom and Dad you both look great! Are you losing weight? People are still always surprised when they see you in pictures and find out you are my parents. By the way, I just met an elder who is coming to your mission - he arrives in Japan in December, his name is Elder Nukaya - his older brother just finished serving here in Sapporo so his family came to pick him up. His brother was a fabulous missionary - I'm sure he will be too!
We had the last 3 of the 5 zone conferences this week - which meant that we were gone travelling from Tuesday morning to Friday night - going to Atsubetsu to Asahikawa to Hakodate, and then back to Sapporo - if you look those up on the map you can probably get an idea of how all over the place we were. All of the travelling though gives me lots of time to think, and get some things done. Its hard to believe that I hit my one year mark this thursday. To express gratitude for this wonderful year, and to start off my last six months, I decided to fast and make some goals for the kind of missionary that I want to be, and the kind of person that I want to become. I want to be bold. I want to be diligent. I want to be humble. I want to be in tune with the spirit and follow its promptings courageously. And I want to record my experienes and blessings everyday in my journal - even if its just one line - to do it EVERY day. I want to be an instrument in the Lord's hand, and do all in my power to be the best instument I can be.
I love this work! I love being a missionary and being with other missionaries. I love working with the members. In "The Work of Salvation" broadcast that they had recently they talked alot about changing our image of missionary work with the members. Up until now it has been How can the members help the missionaries - but in reality it should and really is just the opposite. We as missionaries are here to help the members do the kind of missionary work that they want to do. Missionaries need to think, not how can the ward help us, but how can we help the ward? We are very excited now to change the way people think of missionay work - and to see so many blessings that will come through being united with the ward. We are already seeing so many - we have about 3 or 4 members who have friends that they are working with to invite them to hear the gospel. Its and exciting time!
I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful day and week! The gospel is true. never doubt!
Sister Budge

Pictures! At Tanukikouji (a shopping street), and in the APs car on the way to a Zone Conference about 2 1/2 hours out of Sapporo, in Asahikawa.

More Pictures! Splits in Hakodate, and at the Cherry picking activity with the ward

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 43 - Hakadote!

Dear Family, 

This week was a blast! We got to go down to Hakodate on splits for a few days - it was beautiful, we got to go and dendo by the bay, and see a beautiful sunset. I also got to be companions with Sister Smith, who I actually went to BYU with. She was my next door neighbor and visiting teaching companion in the dorms. We got to be companions again! She actually sprained her ankle this week, so we had to do some call dendo- but we were able to make 2 appointments, in just about an hour! It was a little miracle for us, as neither one of us feels particularly confident about call dendo :) 
On Saturday, we went to the ward activity - All you can eat Cherry picking! We went with a lot of students from Eikaiwa, and some of our investigators and had a really good time with the ward. We all ate way too many cherries, and we even had a cherry pit spitting contest, which the Bishop actually pulled out and won! We made him a congratulations certificate and scones the next morning, and gave it to him at church - he was so happy about it, he even showed the card to the whole ward from the pulpit! After church yesterday I went to my first Nagasoumen - which is like a linger longer where they set up a series of half pipe tubes and run a hose down it, and then put cold soba noodles down the river of water. Then everyone stands by the pipes with their bowls and chopsticks and picks up the noodles as they float by - it was so much fun! I don't know if I have ever seen a better way to play with your food :D 
I saw Becky's cousin this week too! We stopped by to see if they were home, and she was out on the street and we were able to talk for a while - she really is so nice! Hopefully we'll be able to see them a lot more now that I am actually going to the Moiwa ward. 

We are going to have a pretty busy week this week - with Zone conferences and more splits - but we will actually have more time to dendo here in Odori than last week I think which we are excited about :) Its kind of a strange feeling to really only be in your area on weekends - and very strange how much it feels like home when we get back from splits!

I will try to attach some pictures, and then I am about out of time. 

Favorite Scripture of the week : 
Mosiah 18:20-21 - We go to church to have our hearts knit together in unity and love. (Might sound familiar to the Tokyo mission kana? :) )

I love you all!!


Sister Budge

(PS David, I haven't heard of any changes concerning dendoing with facebook or anything like that - but they made it sound like those kind of things are coming huh? that will be interesting to see how that works out... ) 

hakodate, and a members bike that I thought Dan might like to see :)
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Naga Soumen :)

Week 42 - Exchanges!

Dear Family,
Mom, I am so excited to read the Family Newsletter!  am trying to remember sho Hanashiro shimai is... I don't think I have ever heard that name before - I might now her face though! It sounds like you had a much more eventful Fourth of July than we did over here! The most festive thing I did was go to Eikaiwa and speak English with little kids for an hour an a half - it was so fun! We were on splits in Atsubetsu so I got to see a lot of people from when I served there. We went on two exchanges this week, one in Eniwa and one in Atsubetsu - exchanges are so much fun! In Eniwa I got to have a lesson in English with an American lady who is getting her PHD in history and has a lot of interest in reading the Book of Mormon. At the end of the split as we were getting on the train on our way to the next area we met a lady and were able to exchange information with her - she lives in Sapporo and just happened to be in Eniwa for a class. We met another lady later this week named Tanaka san - we were able to do basically the whole restoration lesson on the street, and exchange numbers. She had so many questions - she was a really classy lady, really bright and put together, and involved in a lot of activities and organizations and things. I don't know, but she reminded me a lot of Becky with the way she looked and her personality and everything. Chotto Natsukashikatta :)
One of my favorite parts of this week though was going to church! I am going to Moiwa ward now - probably the largest ward I have been in so far, with about 100 people. I was just SO impressed with them! First the ward correlation meeting was the most effective meeting I have ever seen. We, the missionaries usually report in person or on the phone on Saturday Night to the ward mission leader, and then on Sunday morning at 9:00 am the missionaries and the ward missionaries have a meeting. He handed out a sheet to everyone at the meeting with investigators and/or less actives that had commitments to come to church, then any planned lessons that the missionaries had this week, and then any upcoming events that the ward had. It was so easy to coordinate with the ward, and get everyone on the same page about the progress of investigators and members, and I just felt so unified and supported by the ward. It was amazing! It was really neat in Sacrament meeting too - it was fast sunday - and while the counselor in the bishopric was giving the first testimony there were a good 10 people that came up and sat on the stand to wait to bear their testimonies - it was the neatest thing! I am so excited to work in this ward - their dendo fire is high, and I feel that we will be able to see so many miracles together.
I love being a missionary. I know that there are so many miracles, so many people waiting to hear this message. I know that Christ lives, and that he knows each and everyone of his children, and exactly what they need - just like the story in your letter mom. I love my Heavenly Father, and I am so grateful for al he has given me.
I love you so much! Thank you for all of your love and support!

Sister Budge

Week 41 - New Transfer!! and Happy July!

Dear Family, 

It has been a really fun week! It was a little crazy with transfers, and becoming Sister Trainer Leader and everything, but I love my new companion Sister Honda, and I am still in the same apartment as Sister Osterloh so it is a lot of fun. It is going to be a really interesting transfer - we have 26 sister missionaries, and there are still only two STLs, which means that we get to go on two exchanges every week, to every sister area in the mission. We already did one with the sisters in our apartment yesterday, and have two more scheduled this week - and I guess every week after that too! We will basically only be at our apartment for half of the week, which is going to be interesting to schedule and follow up with our investigators and finding in our own area - but I have confidence that we are being blessed to be able to use the time we do have here as effectively as possible. Even though we are technically white washing this area (because both sister trainer leaders went home last transfer) we have been able to make contact and meet with every investigator that they had been working with, and for the most part they are all going in really good directions. 

It has been interesting though - we still haven't had any training besides about an hour with the last sister trainer leaders where they passed us all the necessary papers and things. We are meeting with President Evans and Sister Evans on Wednesday to get more direction and coordinate a little more - I will let you know Mom how it goes - and I would love to hear any advice that you or Dad have too! We set some transfer goals, and our main goal is basically to be exactly obedient, and show the Sisters the joy and miracle of missionary work. I don't feel qualified at all to try and train all the other sisters - but I know I can love them! I love something that my district leader said last week in his testimony. He said that this transfer he had been praying to know how to show his weaknesses to people around him. Knowing that you have weak points, and trying to make excuses for them is not the way. What he came to realize is that the best way to show our weaknesses is by example. Do your best - know you will fail occasionally, and then don't make excuses, but show an example of how to work to improve the weaknesses you have. Showing an example of change is far more important than showing a perfect example. I liked that a lot. 

It was so great to hear from all of you - and fun to hear a family report from Grandma Budge - it sounds like the family reunion will be a blast! Can't wait to see pictures! :) Mom, I love what you said about being grateful for the things you have which are hard to say goodbye to. It is so true. 

I love you all so much! I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I know this gospel is true, and I have a testimony that a testimony is gained in the sharing of it. I am so grateful for this gospel!


Sister Budge


Dear Family!
And Especially Today to my Father, the greatest Dad in the world!
Well yesterday, as you all may be aware was Father's Day! We decided that since father's day only comes once a year we wanted to focus on dendo on Fathers - not something we do very often as Sister Missionaries - but it was a wonderful day! We learned how to make really cute cookies from an investigator this week, and in our meal times this week we made cookies for all the fathers in the ward. Then after church we vistied as many investigators and non active members in the area that we could and gave the Fathers cookies, and sang "Love at Home" for them. One family in particular, the Date family the wife is non active member and the husband is not a member - but we were able to talk all together and when Date shimai said the closing prayer she gave thanks for the opportunity to express her thanks and love to her husband - not something that gets said very often in words in Japanese culture. It was really neat to feel the spirit there as they talked about how they met, and were able to, in just a very simple way, express their love for each other by talking to us. The husband commited to come to Eikaiwa this week, and Sister Date commited to come to church next week at the end of the lesson too!
The gospel is all about love. When we show love to each other, we get love in return, and that is how we draw closer to God, who loves us more perfectly than we can understand.
I was thinking about writing a personal email to you Dad for Father's Day, but I decided that there is no reason that everyone shouldn't know how wonderful of a Father you are! So I will write it now :) YOU are WONDERFUL! I can't even begin to explain all the ways that your example and your constant love has led and guided me throughout my life. Thank you for always being faithful and true, and for encouraging me to be the same. Thank you for  your humour and positive outlook - for always seeing the bright side, or making it bright when things are not as good. Thank you for always working so hard, and always on the behalf of other people - our family, the church, and anyone that you see that needs help. Thank you for your patience, kindness, love, temperance, enthusiasm, guidance, and for being everything that a Father should, or could be. I don't get to call you on Father's Day, but hoepfully you can know through this email how much I love you!
It sounds like you had a great Father's Day with all of your 4 grandchildren - more a Grandfather's Day かな?:) Just another testimony of how grand you are :)
The rest of this week just seemed to fly by! We saw a lot of miracles - found a new investigator that I am really excited about - and we got to go on splits with our Sister Training Leaders/roommates - and I got to go with my trainer, Sister Kise! It was very natsukashi :). Splits are a great way to really boost dendo fire and rekindle my everlasting desire to be better!
Spiritual thought for the week:
Jeffrey R. Holland's talk, "Lord, I Believe". I read it again this morning, and loved it again! Just because a flower when it is growing and just looks like grass or green at the beginning - no sign of color or shape of a flower doesn't mean that that potential to grow a flower is not inside of it somewhere. It is the same with us and with our fatih. Even if you can't see any visible signs right now of growth or results - that doesn't mean that that potential is not still within us somewhere. Never give up! Just keep pushing on!
I love you all so much! You are the greatest family in the world! I will be keeping you all in my prayers especially this week with missionary transfers, and family transfers too!
Have a great week!!

Sister Budge
 Just thought you might like to see this - Sister Evans always makes sure to take lots of pictures when we all get together :) 

Sister Training Meeting!


Week 39 - Hello From Sapporo!!

Dear Family, 

This week was a great week! We have seen so many miracles, and we are really starting to see the work in this area pick up a lot - I think it is all from the bean power from Sister Osterloh :) Bean power is very real! I will tell you about some of our new investigators that we have found this week. 

She is Japanese, and her name is ゆりあ, but when she lived in Australia during High School she decided to spell it with an L - she is 22 years old and living by herself now working two jobs in order to save money and move out of Japan. She is planning on going to Canada in November of this year - but I think she ultimately wants to go back to Australia. She is a really sweet girl, that has been through a lot in her life. We met her last week at the park  - I guess it was her first time ever taking her pet bunny, Chewy, to the park - and when she did she met us! We were able to teach a lot of the Plan of Salvation to her that day - she had thought a lot about in the past about what happens after we die - we made an appointment to talk more about it, and actually got to go with Shibata Hatsue shimai (one of Janna's old missionary companions!) and had a really good lesson with her. She has so many questions, and is really open to listening to our message. She is a little hesitant about rules and commandments and "restrictions" that religion might have, but those kind of commitments come after a development of faith. We focused a lot on God's love - and letting her now that the love that she hasn't really been able to find in her family or other relationships thus far in her life is there for her anytime. She prayed for the first time ever together with us, and committed to try it on her own. I think if she can feel God's love for her it would make SUCH a big difference in her life. 

She is American, and has been in Japan for about 2 years teaching English, and doesn't really have any plans to go home. She lived in Tochigi before, and just moved to Sapporo a week ago - we met her on her second day here. We invited her to come and see what our church services are like - and she came yesterday! She stayed the full three hours - and then we had a lesson after church as well - we were able to teach her the full lesson one about the restoration. She grew up Catholic, but doesn't really agree with all of its teachings - she likes to learn about a lot of different religions and then take the good things from each one and create kind of her own truth from that. She is therefore really willing to learn - and I think implement pieces of the gospel in her life, but it will take a little while for her to accept the idea of there being "whole truth" and one right way. But it was a really great meeting, and we have another appointment for this week! 

Church yesterday was actually really interesting - we had 5 English speakers in Relief Society - Alisha (a member that is here teaching English for a few months - she has been coming for about a month or so now), Joanna, and then a member that lives up north but was just in Sapporo for the weekend. Because Alisha has been here for a while, for the past few weeks I have actually been translating all three hours of church for her every week! It is by no means a perfect translation, but it is enough for her to understand what's going on :) 

Another miracle that we had this week, was that we were able to for the first time since I have been in this area - which is about two months now - we were able to meet with Takahashi Erika san! She is an investigator that had a baptismal date before, but due to a lot of different things she wasn't able to progress. But we met with her this week, and she said that she still has a desire to be baptized! She wants to change her life and restart. We were able to set another date with her - and we are going to do our best to help her actually achieve this goal! We have it set for 7/21. Pray for her, and for us! 

Other exciting things that happened this week was a Sister Trainers Training Meeting that we had for all the sisters in the mission with workshops from President and Sister Evans, the Assistants to the President, and our Sister Training leaders- the sisters in our mission are basically doubling in number over the next two transfers which means that everyone here right now will have to become trainers. So they had a special training to prepare us for that. The other fun, unusual thing this week was the Yosakoi dance festival that went on at Odori Koen - I sent some pictures of that - if I time I will try and send a few more, but it was just a fun Sapporo cultural experience!

Well, Dendo is going great! We are having lots of fun, and seeing so many miracles every day! Sister Osterloh is a great companion, and a fabulous missionary - I feel so blessed to be her trainer!

In personal study this morning I came across a really good quote from Anonymous (he seems to have a lot of good things to say... :) )
" Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright, it is not the end." 

Everything really does work out for the best in the end - we just have to work until we get there!

I love this work, and this gospel, and all of you! Thank you for all of your support and love! 


Sister Budge

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The Odori apartment at Odori Koen :) It's a three generation shot - my trainer, me, and my bean-chan! And Crofts shimai too :)

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We got stopped at the park and we were asked to write our relationship to each other and take a picture to be put in some sort of slideshow that these students were creating - I'm not sure exactly what it was for, but they took one on our camera too! 
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At the Yosakoi festival! It is a super famous Japanese dance festival that they have every year at Odori Koen - We were able to trade some of our P-day time to go and see it - it was a blast! I don't have a picture, but they had another area where they teach any one who wants to part of the dance - it was a very cultural experience, and a lot of fun! At one point a photographer even came over and took pictures of Sister Osterloh and I, so who knows maybe we'll end up on their website someday! :)

Week 38 - Hello!


How are you all? It sounds like you are busy as ever, and yet staying on top of it all somehow. That was such a neat story about the driver's licenses! That is such a blessing that you don't have to deal with that! I defintely have felt the same way, that the Lord does watch out for his missionaries - he keeps us safe and gives us strength. For example, yesterday was a fast sunday, and it was  a really hot day and we have to ride our bikes for a good 30-40 minutes to get to church, and we were out streeting and housing, and meeting with investigators until around 6:45. By the time we made dinner and were able to break our fast it was 8:00. But even though we had been biking all day in the hot sun, and hadn't eaten a thing, we felt the same as we always do at dinner time - there was never a time when I felt really really hungry, or dehydrated or anything! We really felt that was a miracle yesterday. 

This week we have been seeing a lot of miracles! We have met people from all over the place, Washington DC, New York, Poland, and Japan of course :) that are all living here long term, and willing to meet with us again! We are starting to get a very international group up here. It was really fun to do a contact in English, and be able to talk about the restoration with someone with a Christian background. We have appointments with most of them this week - I will let you know how they go! 

I haven't sent pictures home in a long time, so I wanted to make sure and do that today - I hope you enjoy them! But in exchange my writing time has come up short, so the letter will be a little short this week. But in closing I just want to bear my testimony that when we put forth our best effort the Lord blesses us with success. I know that there are miracles that happen every single day that we are doing what we should - some are big and some are little - but every one is a miracle - and really there is nothing small about that at all! 

The gospel is true! 

I love you all!!


Sister Budge

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Week 37 - It is Spring!

Dear Family,
Well I think the biggest thing this week was definitely the Ongaku  no Yube that we had on Saturday Night! It turned out really good I think, and there were a lot of people that showed up! They kept on having to bring more and more chairs in to make room for everyone that wanted to sit. I performed Savior, Redeemer of My Soul, with about six sisters that joined me on the last verse in harmonies and I felt pretty good about it. I was praying really hard all week that it would sound okay, and that someone would be able to feel the spirit through that song - it is such a beautiful song and I just wanted to be able to do it justice. I felt that the actual performance turned out to be the best I have done it so far, and as I was talking to people afterwards, there were a lot of people that said that they felt the spirit really strong during that song - some even said it was their favorite! I was so grateful that God anwered my prayers, and that so many people were kind enough to let me know that they were able to feel the spirit. They did make a recording, so at some point I think they are planning on making a CD- it will probably take a while though.
This week was really busy with different Eikaiwas, and advertising for Eikaiwa and the concert, and practices and things, so we really weren't able to dendo as much as we wanted to this week, but we were able to find some new investigators, and meet and make appointments with a lot of the members as well. I love the ward where we are focusing right now. It is called the Toyohira ward, and they are just a really good small ward - and probably one of the most welcoming wards that I have ever been too! They are seeing a lot of miracles right now, and I think everyone has a lot of dendo spirit, which makes it really fun to be there.
The weather is beautiful here now - it is definitely spring! There are still a lot of sakura out, but they are mostly finishing up now. It has been fun to have so many more people out on the streets to talk too, because the weather is so nice!
Mom, I loved reading your letter about how you feel when you speak in public that God is really strengthening you and allowing you to be able to do that. I feel the same way everyday as I talk to people on the streets and just pray that they will understand my Japanese, and that I will know what to say to them! I know that He really does help us when we are trying to speak for Him! That is probably one of my favorite feelings in the world. I am excited to attend one your firesides sometime, and hear you speak! I am sure you are both wonderful!
Glad also to hear that Becky and Reid made it safely home! Mom, you asked if there was anything I wanted in a care package - Really the only thing I can think of is family photos! Either on an SD card, or printed photos, either one is fine, but old family photos, family reunion pictures, my new nephews!, my baptism (if those pictures exist...? ) just any you think might be good to show people here :) And I will really try to send you some pictures soon! I planned on sending some today, but the card reader isn't working out for me for some reason... gomennasai! I know it has been a while since I have sent any home.
I just talked to Sister Evans and she said she will be putting up a video on the internet in the next couple of days of the concert, and to send her love to you Mom and Dad!
I love you all so much~ Have a wonderful week, and I will see you next week,
Sister Budge

Week 36 - No Subject

Reid Wilson Budge is adorable!!! Landon and Becky congratulations!! And Mom and Dad congratulations yet again on becoming grandparents!! Oh my goodness, I was not expecting that in the emails this week! Even though he was early, it sounds like he is happy and healthy! It sounds like I am going to have to spend about a month flying all around the world to meet all my new nephews when I get home. I also got a letter from Shelly yesterday that had a picture of John's new babies - I think our family is doing pretty good about the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth! :)
Well this week was a really busy week - it has been a blast with Sister Osterloh - she is such a great missionary, and really brings the spirit with her whenever she speaks and testifies. She is really good about sharing her personal experiences and testimonies, in lessons and in contacts, and everywhere she can! We are getting better and better at working together in a good balance.
We were able to go to the Kato's house this week and have Family Home Evening with Ryoko and the kids - they are the cutest family!! It was a really fun night - she made us a delicious cheese fondue dinner - it was so nice!! I don't know when we'll be able to meet again though - they have a really busy schedule with all the kids activities and things - shibaraku aenai kamoshirenai kedo tama ni aisatsu shi ni ikiatai to omoteimasu.
Today is going to be a really busy P-day - we have our Music Night concert this Saturday, so we have practice from 1 to 4:30 today - after that Sister Osterloh and I are going to Kawashima san's house - she is an old investigator that comes to Eikaiwa everyweek. She is going to put us in Kimono's and then if the weather is okay we are going to go outside and eat underneath the sakura trees - so I don't have too much time to write again today - I am so sorry! After this concert is over P-days should open up a lot more.
I love you all so much! I know this gospel is true, and that is blesses families! I know it has blessed mine!
Until next week!

Sister Budge