So, this week has truely been interesting, alot has changed. I've found it tough to want to be on a mission. Sometimes I think of going home. But, I'm not a quitter. It's tough and this could easily be the most depressing moment of my life, because it's hard to say I'm enjoying my mission yet. Someday, I will probably look back on this and say "I loved my mission" it's hard right now to enjoy every single moment. I've found out how rough Rochdale can be. It's one of the roughest areas in the mission field. But that's probably why the Lord called me here. Sometimes the level of opposition we get can be extreme. People drunk during mid-day but, we stand firm as witnesses of Christ. I hear this can be one of the toughest parts of a mission, you don't fully understand everything yet, and you are taken away from all social interaction, and the only person you can talk to is your companion. It is rough, but I've seen the blessings. A great important lesson I've learn't is that if you focus on going home, just enduring the mission, well you just don't experince the fullness of it. You will go home with a few experinces, a few memories but no lessons. I've tried to live everyday, focus on my mission and as I do, I learn, I gain alot of experinces, alot of memories and ALOT of LESSONS. Keep writing to me, sometimes that's the only thing I've got to keep me smiling. But I do smile. My biggest Strength is also my biggest Weakness, I love people sincerely, but when they progress, they feel the Spirit and they just face opposition and discard all of the information they have learn't because I love them so much, I feel sad. I know that all people have agency to choose if they accept our message. But, I desire that they can come closer to God. But... hey No one said that a mission would be the easiest thing I would ever do. Infact, it could be the hardest thing I've had to do to date. I've knocked so many doors my knuckles feel sore :) It seems that the most humble people can be the people who don't have much, they seem to be very receptive and whilst Tracting/ Contacting at posh areas it seems no-one cares to listen, it's funny how that works. However, I can say this week I've really gained my confidence back. Talk to everyone, anyone and everyone, it's really helped me gain the confidence as a person to just speak to anyone with confidence. My funniest experince this week was walking down a road to an appointment, being stopped by and drunk man telling us about, how he respected what we were doing. As we both left him, I offered him my hand to shake, but he grabbed it and held it against his heart. A peculiar fellow right? At our ward, there is a Phillipino woman, married to an english man. They constantly debate about whether I'm Phillipino or English, she also served a mission somewhere in the phillipines, we managed to do some service for them and we painted at the old people's home that he owned. I am such a skillful painter. I've gotten used to walking long distances now and hopefully my feet can recover quicker now. We cleaned our flat, today and the Office Elders came to remove an old desk. In Rochdale we are blessed with a wonderful apartment. It is my prayer that the people in the staines ward are safe and that you are all happy living the Gospel. Whenever it is raining on me, when people swear at us, when people are rude. Remember, the Son of Man hath decended below any of us, are we greater than he? D&C 122. Elder Sapaden
Friday, 29 July 2011
So much has changed. I've never done this much walking in my life, I walk so much my feet bleed, every step hurts, but... I press forward so that someones life will change. Well yesterday I went to church for the first time in my new area Rochdale ward. It's a little different they start of with priesthood then gospel principles and finish with Sacrament meeting. In Rochdale we walk all day everyday, it's quite an experince. I've come to realise that the England Manchester Mission is a "finding" mission, we street contact people, we knock on doors, we even bus contact. It's much diffeerent than I thought it would be. I also sense a common theme, I say "I love Rochdale" and people begin to laugh. Interesting right. The bishop of the ward even said "let's give him a week" but I truely love Rochdale, don't get me wrong, it's definately not an easy mission. But, it's a mission where I will become much stronger in everyway. Well it's P-day today and I cleaned out our apartment. It's the first time I had to sincerely clean the apartment with real intent. Now as for our Mission field. I've been truely blessed with the England Manchester Mission, I'll tell you why. WE HAVE LOADS OF RULES. Here's how it goes: Church Standard < Mission Standard < England Manchester Mission Standard. We have plenty of Mission Specific rules such as: Use Dignified Language: don't use words such as "guy, cool, cheers" The requirements for investigating the Church are much higher, and many, many, many more. However, I rejoice in these rules (laws) for obedience to these extra Mission specific rules (laws) will bring about many blessings. (D&C 130) Rest does not exsist in a mission, you are always at work. I'm planning to mail pictures by post so hopefully you will get some pictures. One thing I'm starting to notice is that I'm always smiling now. You can't approach someone saying "I know this Church is true" without a smile. Smiling all the time, it's slightly freakish but I'm sure i'll get used to it. One of the rules emphasised in this mission are only getting e-mails from family, so if you wish to e-mail me hereafter it will need to be done through my parents e-mails, so If you e-mail them, I'm sure they will be pleased to forward it to me. Also... another lesson I've learn't is: BUDGETING IS HARD!!! I could bet that I've knocked 300+ doors within these 5 days. I've already started getting rid of my comfort zone, never pass anyone by without sharing the message of the restored gospel. I've also learn't a hard lesson yesterday. Never be sorry for sharing the gospel. I knocked on a door yesterday and the owner replied "you just woke up the baby", I'm a very understanding person (I'd like to think) and I apologised to them for waking the baby up. However, my Companion told me afterwards that you should never be sorry because the message of the restored gospel enables us to live with our families forever, and that is more important. I've still got plenty I've got to get used to. Sometimes, like President Gordon B. Hinckley, I think that maybe, just maybe I am wasting my time and my money, missions are can be rough. But his father told him "Lose yourself, and go to Work" Missions can be blessings, so I go forth everyday trying my hardest. We run to our apartment with 2 minutes before 9pm. from a long ways away just so we can be EXACTLY OBEDIENT. Sometimes it's wet and it never stops raining, it's cold and I walk so much that my feet bleed, my legs have splints, nobody wants to listen to me, I get a cold and when they answer the door it gets immediately shut... But I do so because I know that this gospel will change the persons life, I do so because I want them to be with their family forever. I do so because I want them to be happy. I do know that God lives. Elder Sapaden
I've been called to serve in... Rochdale! It's amazing here. I got my new trainer companion who is a district leader. His name is Elder Misbach. It's very nice here and I've been blessed with a very nice apartment. I can't wait to go to church on sunday. We meet alot of people here on buses and we share the message of the gospel that way. Me and Elder Misbach went out yesterday knocking on doors, within 3 hours we got 6 appointments and one man approached us and even shared that he wanted to know more. It's been full of miracles in this area and I've only been here for less than a day. I love the people. I should be able to teach an investigator today that will be exciting! I hope you are all well in the Staines Ward and I'm praying for you. We managed to knock on doors alot yesterday, I saw the miracles and the struggles, a dog was even let loose to stop us from knocking a certain door. But, I see people that are prepared and ready to recieve the gospel. I also went shopping for the first time for myself yesterday. I don't know what food to buy for myself. Unfortunately while I serve in this area, I cannot attach pictures to this e-mail via a library computer. So, perhaps we need to find an alternative way e.g. mail. Elder Sapaden.