"I know that it doesn't matter if the person you try to teach doesn't commit to anything, it just matters if you're doing your best at inviting them to come unto christ."

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Pressing forward with Faith! 05/09/2011

This week was a very good week. It feels like I'm so settled into the
mission, I was able to meet up with people that I knew before my
mission who are serving here, I met Elder Webb, who was in my EFY
group and also Elder Brooks who was from the reading ward. They are
fantastic missionaries and I know that we will be amazing friends even
after our missions. On Thursday we had to wake up extra early at 5:30
to travel to Preston for a Church History Tour, it was amazing. I even
found out that Bryan Miranda (from the Kingston Ward?) is coming to
serve here in the EMM next transfer. Two Elders from the Staines Stake
serving in blessed Manchester.
During that Church Tour I was even invited to play on an organ over
1000 years old, It was the first non- electrical organ I've played, it
sounded magnificent. I love speaking to people on trains in the
morning, although some of them do not listen, it is a great learning
experince for a new missionary to deal with opposition, I am so glad
that Rochdale is my first area, we face many challanges and much
opposition for which I am grateful for because I am able to grow and
grow from these experinces. If my first area was somewhere without
opposition like Chorley (the area where the Temple is Located) I
wouldn't have had all the hardships I face, but because of these
challenges I become stronger.
Being a missionary who plays piano has its blessings, let me tell you
of some. We have a member (I won't name him) he hasn't had the
missionaries around for dinner in a long time, he is fairly musical
and loves to talk music, and gets very excited on that subject. So in
the first time for possibly years he invited us around for dinner, it
was splendid and he loved to talk music, we did and he even
volunteered himself to come out and visit some people with us. I
really was called here by Heavenly Father because of personality. I
seen many blessings (with a side of dinner appointments), many members
have greater trust for me as I serve them by playing piano. He even
offred us a lift to our next appointment after dinner.
This week I've really learn't a lessons of Exact Obedience. In this
mission Exact Obedience is something that really stands out as a
deciding factor of how good you are of a missionary. From Section 130
v.21 we learn that "when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by
obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." I know this to be
true, I've just seen many example of being obedient on my mission thus
far. I will always remember the times where it is 8:55pm we are very,
very far away and by walking we will not make it to our Flat by 9:00pm
so we run, we run to our flat even when it is cold, dark and very wet
outside, we run because we are Exactly Obedient, I can testify of the
blessings in our lives as me and my companion are Obedient. We are on
our knees praying at Exactly 6:30am in the morning and Exactly 10:30pm
at night without even a 1 second measurement apart.
During this fast Sunday I fasted for the purpose of getting our ward
excited for missionary work. To no surprise I saw that our ward, even
Rochdale ward was so ready for much member- missionary work. You
wouldn't believe the amount of times I even heard the missionaries
being referenced by members this week. What was so exciting about this
Sunday was I saw Jordan Forbes (he served as Elder Forbes in Hounslow,
he was from the Lancs. area but I didn't know he was in this ward,
although he is moving to London soon to attend Kingston University) I
also found out that he trained Richard Hillary (who served as Elder
Hillary as a Zone Leader in Staines) the world just seems like a small
I just finished reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover, I started
it in the MTC, I managed to finish Preach My Gospel in the MTC. I
would extort you (aimed at readers of this e-mail) to read it, and to
gain a testimony of it (if you haven't already) but within the verses
of Moroni 10:3-5 we are asked to read and ponder and pray about it, I
would like to focus a little of this portion on what we should be
pondering. When you ask anyone: "In these Verses (Moroni 10:3-5) what
should we ponder about?" the answer would be "the Book of Mormon"
In Mormon 10:3 we learn that "when ye shall read these things, if it
be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how
merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the
creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall recieve these
things, and ponder it in your hearts", what should we ponder? "It"
what is "it"? "It" is "how merciful the Lord hath been unto the
children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time
that ye shall recieve these things"
I know that as we ponder about the Book of Mormon, aswell as our
blessings we will receive a confirmation of the truthfulness of the
Book of Mormon, and ultimately this whole Gospel.
Elder Sapaden

Guess what... 2 months out today! (24/08/2011)

So it's two months out on my mission as of today, I've just had so
many miracles and so many wonderful experinces. I thank you for all
your letters and e-mails they have really helped me press forward with
This week started off with an assistant to the President exchange
where I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest
missionaries in the mission. I was able to show them how hard I work.
I've been blessed with a wonderful trainer who has a wonder work
ethic, one of the finest lessons I have learn't so far is the ability
to work even if you are physically worn out, the Lord always pushes us
one step further and during those times that we are stretched and we
reach our breaking points, if we press forward, we progress.
On Wednesday we had a meeting called a "training camp" where all the
new missionaries gather together again and receive extra training.
Everybody expressed during that meeting how much we all have changed.
It seems that my face relaxes into a smile. No joke. I've seen many
blessed experinces from people who aren't so receptive to people that
accept us straight away. Our investigator Shalome is going to be
baptised this Saturday. I'm so excited for it. It'll be my first
baptismal service on my mission.
Today new missionaries are coming into the mission like I did six
weeks ago, today I lose the title of "the youngest missionary in the
mission" but within the next six weeks I won't even be considered a
"new missionary" anymore. I have set myself a really difficult goal
for these six weeks, I am going to become the most urgent missionary
in the England Manchester Mission. That is my goal.
What this goal includes is talking to everyone without fail in any
circumstance, everyone needs this gospel and I will talk to everyone.
I've been trying to work on it, my trainer has faith in me, and it is
a difficult task, I've ran alongside a person on a bicycle, talked to
people in cars during a red traffic light, spoken to people out of
windows on a second floor building, every last person is an
opportunity and every opportunity is a blessing. I used to have
problems speaking to people on buses and trains out of shyness but now
it just feels like second nature.
I was also blessed to go on an exchange with one of my favourite
missionaries that came on a mission with me, Elder Leimgrub from
Germany, we were able to go with each other and learn many lessons, he
shared with me how excited I get whilst talking to people, I do get
very excited when I talk to people on the street because they are my
brothers and sisters and I'm showing them the way home, unfortunately
because of my excitement I seem to talk at a million miles per hour,
so I'm working on it.
We met a man named Albert last week, he was prepared for this message
in the Pre-Mortal life! He is wonderful and he just accepted our
message with no hesitation, he already shared some of the same beliefs
and he commited to sincerly read and pray about the Book of Mormon, I
do know that as he does, he will gain a testimony of it.
Something exciting is happening in Rochdale now! The members have
organised that two members will be able to go out with the
missionaries per day. I just had so much success with this new idea.
The only time we are seperated as a companionship is when you are with
other missionaries of when you go out seperately with members, it's a
marvelous learning experince to be out without your companion who you
know will back you up when needed, but when you are out with members
they rely on you to direct the convesation all the time. I absolutely
love it! It is so amazing.
This week has been a fantastic week, I've just seen myself grow so
much, especially with my goal of urgency always looking for someone to
talk to, speaking to one person setting up an appointment and then
seeing someone a hundred meters away and saying to your companion "ok
Elder, let's go" then running after them, it is the true joy of
missionary work. Whilst you are seeking for your own brothers and
sisters to hear this message you just can't stop feeling the joy of it
because you are showing them the way home to Heavenly Father.
You wouldn't guess how great of a cook I have become whilst on my
mission. Creamy pieces of chunky Chicken with a touch of salsa and
pure steamed Basmati rice in under 10 minutes. Marvelous! (I was
slightly hungry whilst writing this e-mail)
In "Preach my Gospel" it tells us that we need to "Listen with Love"
and throughout my service here in Rochdale I love sharing the message
of this restored gospel. I can truely tesify that as I've listened
with love, I have been led to the right people at the right times in
the right places.
Thanks for all your letters and e-mails.
Elder Sapaden

Weekly Update‏

So... another week in the field.
This week I've gone on many missionary exchanges (when a missionary
goes out of his ward boundaries and works with other missionaries in
other areas) because my companion is a district leader and being a new
missionary, I get to go on a total of 7 excahges within my first six
I started my week going on an exchange with my Zone leaders, Elder
Dittmer, He is german and he is fantastic. Before I came on exchange
their car got stolen, but during my exchange it was found and given
back to us. Elder Dittmer was one of the most influential Elders I've
met. I even got to go to the mission office. Some missionaries don't
even get to go to the Mission office within their 2 years.
The exchange was intense! It was the first time I ran after someone to
share with them the gospel, there was no person that passed me that
day without an attempt made to share the gospel with them.
We've had the most vivid experinces this week, a English man that
converted to Islam, stopped his car in the middle of the road whilst
on a busy road, it was a red light came out and pointed at our badges
and said "not true" but, luckily before he got contensious our bus
I've also had another Exchange with a missionary called Elder
Raybould. I was so lucky to be with him for 2 days aswell, he so very
musical like myself and we were just talking music theory all the
time! It was amazing. He is a wonderful missionary and taught me many
Yesterday I came back to my area (Rochdale) as soon as I came back we
also faced intense situations. It's like they follow me around. We've
had a hard week with trying to achieve our goals. Sometimes it feels
like, "if I don't get at least 3 investigators to Church... I'm a
failure." This week something that helps me with that is: "The Lord
doesn't measure results with numbers, he meausres them with effort"
It was my 3rd sunday in the field and it's day 39 of my mission.
Yesterday I gave my companion a haircut, I'm dreading getting mine
soon. I'm preparing for another Exchange with a missionary called
Elder Whited, it's in a place called Middleton. Going to be amazing!
Elder Sapaden