Monday, 28 November 2011
Weekly update 28 November 2011
So this week has been full of amazing events. Lets start off with a
Before boarding a bus we talked to a man before a bus stop, something
we do for fun to keep it exciting is have the person we are having a
meaningful conversation with guess our nationality. Elder Lintusaari,
being Finnish often gets Polish, Russian, German, Swedish. He gets
countries that are very close yet very far. I have never once got a
guess that I am english, for obvious reasons. This man was convinced
that I was Hawaiian, it really made my day, it was funny and Elder
Lintusaari were just very cheery for the rest of the day. We have a
less- active member who is convinced that I am Tongan and tell the
rest of the Ward, "have you seen that Tongan missionary yet?"
Of course we get people with the anti- American feelings in the North-
west of England telling me that I am American and I should go back to
America, and sort out the problems I have in my own country. To which
I obviously reply "I'm trying to sort out my country, you're not
letting me. I'm from London" to which the perplexed individuals just
seem to flee and brush it off. I mean I've had two American companions
but do I really seem American? Only time will tell.
This week we have actually had a supremely amazing week, having taught
over 20 lessons. These e-mails just seem to be progressing in a way of
information to stories because I have another of the latter to share:
Last week we were travelling home from an area we rarely go to because
of it geographical location, and so it is not too much of a familiar
area for us. As we waited at a bus stop, there was no one around us
and we watched a woman cross the road. Immediately she said "Mormons,
are ya?" to which we were speachless, us as missionaries go around
starting these conversations, talking to these different people. Very
rarely people start conversations with us (believe it or not). We
found out that she had been married to a Member of the Church and had
been less- active for over 20 years.
Her name was Burnadette, she had invited us to her home later in the
week to have a conversation with her and to find what was once there.
So we did exactly that! This last sunday (yesterday) she came to
church for the first time in over 20 years, she rejoiced because she
saw many of her old friends still there in attendance.
That morning where we were in the area we usually don't venture to we
didn't see much success, but we were there to meet her. Heavenly
Father had placed us in the path of one of his daughters who had been
lost for over 20 years, and now she has been found and has made the
beginning steps in returning to his fold. Such a Miracle!
It's getting harder and harder to stop people on the street because of
the weather, I've been trying to tell them "Don't worry, I know it's
cold. We are sharing a warm message!"
On Friday we had a ward activity where the Priesthood brethren
organised a meal for the Relief society sisters. We were able to serve
them, provide much entertainment and have such a wonderful evening,
these events when done correctly and organised properly provide such a
wonderful uniting experience for the whole ward. I truely felt part of
the Rochdale ward family. This was expressed this last sunday.
On sunday, expecially being a morning the members usually greet the
missionaries as "Morning, Elder" just in passing, they say things like
However this Sunday I was evidence of the wards love for me in almost
every greeting I got "Hi Elder Sapaden! How are you?", "Elder Sapaden,
how was your week?", "Elder Sapaden we need your help: Can you play
the organ for us in Sacrament?" they had said my name not just "the
Elders", I truely was "their Elder Sapaden"
I sent my family a funny story concerning a musical item that took
place in a stake conference:
The missionaries in the Ashton Stake, and the Manchester Stake had
organised that they were singing a musical item "Called to Serve" as a
surprise to the members in a recent stake conference, I was privilaged
to be part of this magnificent display.
Since Elder Lintusaari had came to Rochdale we had been visiting a
particular family, with whose children had grown particularly
attatched to me. We often played games with each other and they knew
me as "their missionary"
During this wonderful musical item, the children being particularly
restless because of it being a long church meeting began to be loud
[not in a bad way] they immediately saw me singing my heart out and
were shouting "that's my brown missionary!" I was so happy and just
began to sing my heart out even more, they are my heroes. I love
member- missionary relationships.
I love my mission.