"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."

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Weekly Update 29 December 2011

Hello Family!

So I have moved! I've moved from Rochdale to a place in Liverpool called St. Helens. It's funny I am now serving with a missionary called Elder Peterson from Utah, and the funnier thing is he sounds exactly like Brother Paul Peterson. St. Helens is so very different it is much different from the usual areas in the England Manchester Mission.

In St. Helens everybody talks quite different, they have such a Liverpool accent, it's amazing! It was hard saying bye to alot of people in Rochdale, it was even worse than saying goodbye to my own family. The Rochdale ward members made me feel like their family and when I left some even cried. It's a hard thing getting transferred but I am excited to be in St. Helens. Upon leaving Rochdale one of the members in Rochdale, Brother Hoyle texted me telling me to "make St. Helens my new home" it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever read, he acknowledged that he knew that I had made Rochdale my home and that I had to go and make a new home.

By the way singing at the christmas carol old peoples home service was amazing the Ward choir and I felt such great unity as we sang to these elderly people christmas songs and the spirit of Christmas, even the spirit of God was present. We had such an amazing Christmas in Rochdale it really was something special, we felt loved so much, I even got many presents from the members, alot and alot of chocolate. At Christmas eve we spent it at one of our investigators houses and we just had a great time, it really was a spirit filled occasion! We also spent the rest of the evening with our ward mission leader, he was fantastic, I love the support we get from members so much.

Christmas really is a special occasion for missionaries and this year it even happens to have fallen on a sunday so we had a wonderful time at the ward Christmas Carol service, we then spent the Day with The Hoyles and The Roses. Rochdale ward members are just so special I've never felt more at home on my mission than at members homes in Rochdale. Talking to my family was great, it seems like nothing has changed. I got the call to get transferred on Boxing day, it was hard, but I knew that I had been privilaged to spend 6 months in one of the best places in the World.

On Tuesday, I had to say goodbye to so many members, it was heart breaking, painful but I knew that they were happy for me, they had watched me grow from a shy young man to something much better. They had watched me sit in their homes a little shy and timid to what it felt like part of their family. Some members even protested they said "I'll call your mission president it'll be fine, you can stay a little longer" it was sad to say bye, missionaries have many names written on their hearts, "Jesus Christ", "Elder Sapaden" and "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints", "Rochdale" is one of the names written on my heart but it can't be seen, it matters just as much to me as any of the mentioned names already. I'm making "St. Helens" my new home now.


Elder Sapaden.

P.S write back to me before monday, we will be e-mailing this monday aswell.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Weekly update: 19th December 2011

Hello Family!
I hope you are all splendid! This week has been a great one, so I'll start off by talking about the weather. It is just so Cold! It is freezing all over, it has snowed and it is staying, in some parts of our area we have places which are over a foot or two feet of snow, it's crazy. It feels funny being wrapped up so much, I'll tell you what I have for my winter gear, so I'm nice and wrapped up with my scarf, I wear both pairs of gloves, one glove over the other, and a nice pair of ear-muffs. So usually I'm pretty warm, it's fun knocking on doors in this weather, people tend to give the excuse "it's too cold to stand here", I wonder if they ever consider how cold we actually were. But thats okay! Our smiles warm up even the coldest of people.
This week we actually went to the mission home over at Altrincham to have Christmas dinner with our mission president and his wife, travelling from Rochdale to Altrincham was fun I love talking to people on trams, it is much more open than talking to people on busses and trains and it's very easy to talk to them because they come and go, even just talking about how their day was, it must be nice to have a person to talk to about how your day is going.
So this week in Rochdale we have been focusing on alot of Less- Active work, I love visiting less- actives, it just feels quite different going to less- actives homes when you are a missionary, sometimes it's only a missionary who can bring that special spirit to their homes and bring them back to church. I have had so much success in Rochdale from visiting less- active members homes, we have just seen family to family come back to church, and now even some of the children whose family was less- active are getting baptised. Although I was not actively part of the teaching and baptising of that child, I do know I was part of that process. We got them back to church.
I was even given a nice little invitation to the baptism which is happening on the 31st of December. I came on my mission and I wanted to baptise thousands, I know even though I might not be actively part of the actual teaching and baptising, I know that I helped it happen. You know I might just baptise thousands in that respect, the little boy will go on a mission, that little boy will someday have a family, that little boy will someday be a bishop. I did baptise thousands. My new goal... Millions.
So from visiting some more less actives houses I went to a house where Irene lives, Irene is amazing she is from Zimbabwe and used to go out teaching with the missionaries quite alot. I had the privilage of going to her home for a dinner appointment. African food is amazing!
Another success that Elder Lintusaari and I are having is the amount of member refferals we are getting, I know that by asking members who do they know who would be interested in the message we share is something magnificent. We have received many contacts that our members have given us, something I firmly believe in is that the missionaries have to earn the members trust for that refferal and serve the members for that. Now you might ask: Elder Sapaden how have you served on your mission?
Well... I love the members so much, the love my piano playing, you put two and two together and you have a great tool to develop member- missionary trust. Every sunday before Christmas in Rochdale the primary put along a Nativity presentation. Unfortunately the pianist didn't show up for one reason or another. The primary president approached me, she looked very distressed and she needed someone to replace the missing pianist urgently. She called upon me, I hate sight reading (playing music without rehearsing beforehand) but I continued to do so, I know as I played those intricate and difficult pieces that my fingers were guided to the keys I needed to play, I played beautifully. The primary Nativity presentation was a success, and the spirit of God penetrated everyones hearts. I love being able to serve. In fact, I'm playing for a Christmas concert at an old peoples home this coming wednesday, wish me luck!
Matthew 25 teaches us this important lesson:
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
If this e-mail ever gets around to bishop, I have a message. "Yes, Bishop, you could say I was "Tearing it up" in Rochdale!"
I love you all!
Elder Sapaden.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Weekly update: 12th December 2011

Hi Family!
So this week, not a whole lot to catch up on again.
We have alot going on, and it seems that it is snowing everyday here in Rochdale. Alot of snow going on. This week, I was able to start off with an exchange. I was in Rochdale with my district leader Elder Nielson, we had a fantastic time, Elder Nielson did weightlifting like me before my mission so it was amazing how we could talk about it and really get to kow each other better that way. During the 6th of december we got a phone call at 3:00am from our investigator John, we were sleeping so we didn't answer it. It was hard, and we came into the lesson with the thought, that he didn't want to visit us anymore.
John has been making such great progress he is giving up his alcoholism, and he is now dated for baptism for the 23rd of december. During a lesson with John this past week, he knows that we are displeased when we see a bottle of alchol on his floor, and we tell him to dispose of it or throw it away, but because of his alcoholism he can't do that. But this last lesson we were talking about repentance, and we had a complete miracle. During talking about repentance, we expressed to him that he needed to change, and whilst we were talking he stood up. We were so puzzled we hadn't a clue why he stood up, without a word he took the alcohol bottle on the floor and went to his kitchen. Elder Lintusaari and I looked at each other very confused, John was pouring the contents of the bottle in the sink. He had felt the Holy Ghost and he knew that he needed to get rid of it. I have such a strong testimony that when we teach the correct doctrine, the application will naturally follow.
We attended Ward council for the first time in Rochdale, we had a great time, the ward really was concerned about our investigators and our work, the Rochdale ward is so amazing, the funny thing was that during ward council the area where the chapel was located had a power cut, so we held ward council in the dark.
I love my mission, more to write in the next e-mail. I promise.
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 5 December 2011

Weekly update: 5th December

Hello Family!

This week has been pretty good! I'm on day 165 of my mission! We are
facing alot success but with that success we are also facing much
opposition "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all
things" 2 Nephi 2:11

We haven't been teaching that much this week, but we have been talking
to many people on the street and seeing much happiness through that.
Although you can say we are teaching people, but out in the streets
the same principle is found in Alma 26:29 "And we have entered into
their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their
streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have
also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them",
I haven't taught anyone in a synagogue, but we have been teaching just
not much in peoples homes. This week we have been getting back on
tract with finding people to teach.

Sometimes it is hard to teach people when you don't see immediate
progress but you have patience. "the Lord will hasten his work in its
time" D&C 88:73 sometimes it is hard to see in the lords time, but I
know all of the people will be baptised in the Lord time, I just have
to be mindful and patient.

Here is a funny experience I had this week. On a day we were
experiencing much opposition, people had not kept their appointments,
and it was cold and wet outside Elder Lintusaari was looking at his
map and I was staring at the floor contemplating at what we should do.
At that moment a member drove past and saw us looking "Glum", within
two minutes of driving past us, this member gave us a call. She asked
us "do you have a dinner appointment this evening?", I replied that we
didn't and so she invited us to join her for Dinner in the evening.

We enjoyed having Dinner at that sisters house, it helped us
appreciate what we do have and it helped us regain our perspective.
She had saw us in our hour of need and had ministered unto us. She
told us that missionaries hadn't came to her house for years and that
we were the first missionaries who had come in a long while. She gave
us something to smile about, usually Elder Lintusaari and I have alot
to smile for, but she just added to our list. This past sunday she
even bore her testimony about how we brought the spirit into her home,
I love members!

Not much really to update on this week,  It is so wet, windy and cold
outside here now aswell. Last night it even started snowing!

Last thursday we had a meeting in Chorley at the Church near the
Preston temple, it was amazing we were able to do a temple session
aswell, half of the mission went one day and the other half went on
the other day. It was amazing.

Rochdale really is a wonderful area, I love it so much. I'm definately
going to come back and visit after my mission.

Hope you are all well,

Elder Sapaden.