"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, 27 December 2012

Weekly Update 27 December 2012

Hi!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, it was great here. Christmas
as a missionary is such a great experience, people are much more
friendly and you can almost taste Christmas in the air.

We went caroling with the Chester ward this week and it is really fun
to be with the member at Christmas, doing those fun things with them.
Our investigators are doing great aswell, we are preparing ourselves
for a Baptism here in the Chester Ward and I am very excited for the
things that are awaiting us in the new year.

In Chester on Christmas Day, we even had a little bit of a carol
service and got together as members and exchanged presents, we just
had a really good time. I didn't think I would ever say this but, I
actually think we have too much Chocolate for me and my companion to
handle, we are on a Chocolate overload, chocolate treats for
breakfast, chocolate for desserts and chocolate for snacks. We are
trying to get rid of it as soon as possible, my New years resolution
is to get back into weightlifting for my last 6 months of my mission
in preparation to hit it big when I get home.

It is transfers on the 2nd of January, who knows what will happen.
This transfer has just flown by, it is unreal how fas this mission
thing is going. I will be a missionary forever, long after I actually
get released from this full- time calling, too many of us view
conversion as a one time experience. Many people say "It happened on
such and such a date" But true and lasting conversion comes from doing
and acting, conversion lasts forever and so will my mission.

I am personaally excited for this new year, I am excited for the
Changes that I am going to make, for the things that will happen
during these 6 months I have left and for the effects that my mission
will have when I return.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 17 December 2012

Weekly Update 17 December 2012

 A picture of me,
 
I just wanted to show you how good of a cook I have become. Seriously I could become a chef someday.
 


 


Hello!

Missionary life is all about adventure after adventure. Sometimes
missionaries definately overplay the thing that happen to them on
their missions, but this week was filled with moments that could have
went horribly wrong, times where my whole life flashed before my eyes
were on the increase. I have a strong testimony that I have guardian
angels.

Wales is a good country, it is filled with scenary, sunsets and sheep.
I love it! One of our investigators is a walking miracle. She is
perhaps the best investigator I've ever taught, she has been smoking
every hour since she was 13, she had a lot of trials growing up we
gave her a Priesthood blessing this week and she hasn't reverted to
the cigarettes since. What a miracle.

Much of this week has been helping the missionaries around us fulfill
their potential. It has been exciting, I've never spent so much time
on my mission driving around seeking to do one thing after another.
Some people may find happiness in the journey, a whole day where there
is always something to do, it also feels that sometimes there is no
room to breathe, but I prefer it this way, it seems that I wake up and
sleep and it goes so quick.

I spent some time with a younger missionary from Tenesee he had one of
those accents where you want him to say such things as "Life is like a
box of Chocolates" I love these moments of training and guidance where
you get to pause for a short while and remember what it is all about.
We learnt the lesson together, a lesson I learnt long ago on my
mission but tend to forget sometimes. Missionary work is fun, if not
then you are doing it wrong.

The Chester Ward is such a good ward, I really do like it here.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

"Count your blessings, but more importantly... make your blessings count"

Monday, 10 December 2012

Weekly Update 10 December 2012

Hello!

I seem to be at the point of my mission where things seem to be
jolting forward at an aggressively violent pace. It is going too
quick. The Chester Ward is amazing! I love it here and Christmas here
is going to be fantastic.

The other day I was in Birkenhead, it was another exchange with a
different missionary. It was weird... we had to travel through
Liverpool to get there, it used a train line similar to the Tube in
London. Going through back to my old proselyting area was interesting,
It brought back memories of unsurity, of newness and of joy. I was
such a new missionary when I went to St. Helens through Liverpool.
Liverpool is definately one of my favourite places ever. It kind of
took me back to the days when I had little responsibility of
missionary leadership, those were days never to be forgotten.

I got back to Chester on Thursday and it was welcoming, we were
teaching a lot. A important lesson is one I learnt of repentance. The
way we teach the principle of repentance as missionaries needs to be
very sensitive, it needs to be backed up by the spirit and done in a
loving caring manner. Ultimately the best way to teach repentance is
highlighting the joy of forgiveness. Many a time this week we had been
around people who haven't made the best of choices. Infact it reminded
me of our call and duty to emulate Jesus Christ, the people he was
around were perhaps not the most wise in their choices. He was around
publicans, hypocrits, harlots and many other people who had commited
sin in various forms.

He came not to call the perfect, but he came for those who needed to
become penitent, we are told, the whole need no physician. Those are
exactly who we spent time with this week. It is an eye opener, perhaps
as missionaries we aren't the most familiar with what is in the world,
we try empathise but that empathy falls short because we haven't been
through what they have been through. But the amazing thing is that the
grace of Jesus Christ is sufficent for everyone who had a broken heart
and a contrite spirit. When we speak to those who have particularly
been involved with those more serious sins, the transforming power of
the Atonement reaches out to the individual.

I came up with the "I'm not perfect" principal, what do people see
when they see missionaries? Some may see our perfectly tied ties, our
spotless white shirts, my hair that I still spend 10 minutes to
perfection and people get intimidated. It is so intimidating when
missionaries who exalt themselves talk to those investigators that are
abased. Vital to helping them is helping them realise we are just as
human as they are, while respecting the confidence of our power and
authority contained within our call.

It is something that has changed my mission forever. During King
Benjamins sermon the people had viewed themselves in a carnal state,
even lower than the dust of the earth. I want you to all know that I
am human, I make mistakes far greater than perhaps some of our
investigators but the healing power of the Atonement is transforming,
more transforming than any "10 minute makeover", more transforming
than the day and the night, it is viewing a difference perspective of
ourselves, the world and God.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 3 December 2012

Weekly Update 03 December 2012

Photos first :)
More sheep than people!

More of Wales

More of Me and Elder Corbin



 Well, there is a picture of me today, and some pretty pictures of Wales.





Hi!

It has been another very interesting week. It has been quite cold here
in Chester. This week we have been moving around a lot, one of the
things we do often is to exchange with other missionaries, I went to a
place called Porthmadog in Northern Wales and Elder Corbin went to
Wrexham. Porthmadog was quite intense, it was one of those places
where there were more sheep than people, it was very scenic and it
comes close to how pretty the Isle of Man is, it was very fun there.
It is probably the furthest away area in the mission (excluding the
Isle of Man) it takes perhaps more than 3 hours from Manchester, but
it was so worth it.

The work here in Chester itself is amazing! We have an investigator
Dated for Baptism and we have many other investigators working toward
Baptism, the future in Chester looks bright. Plus we have a good ward
here and spending Christmas here as a missionary is going to be
Celestial.

We have had a lot of fun this week and working with other missionaries
is great. Here in the Chester Ward we are very integrated into the
ward as missionaries, we are even part of a ward Nativity, we are
dressed up as Shepards and it is going to be fun.

Something I've been thinking about is the importance of personal
revelation in the mission field. Many times missionary leader try to
teach the importance of a principle to another missionary. It goes in
one ear and out the other. The best teaching is "caught" rather than
"taught", however even those various methods of teaching will not
work. The same with our investigators we try to help them gain the
vision that we have with them. I feel that the most common mistake
other see in missionaries is that the missionaries "convert"

The missionaries themselves do not "convert" rather we teach for
conversion. So how do we do that? Well... we cultivate and nourish an
environment for personal revelation, they do the converting be we
teach to be converted. It led me to this wonderful thought "The best
lessons a missionary can learn are the lessons he or she learns on his
or her knees." When we make the best guesses or even the most logical
or argumentative debates, if we are seeking our own will, then it is
not Gods will. Revelation is the key to the Celestial Kingdom.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 26 November 2012

Weekly Update 26 November 2012

Hi! Hi! Hi!

Chester is an extremely good area. I love it!

This week I found out I replaced three missionaries, the Chester ward
traditionally has 4 missionaries, but every since I've arrived it has
only been 2. I've been joking around with everyone here: "Since I'm
replacing 3 missionaries here, the mission president had to send
someone really good!" It's fun, not sharing the ward and not sharing
the dinner appointments with other missionaries. Liverpool had 4
companionships so the ward was stretched, but Chester is way good, I
figure because we are going from 4 missionaries to 2 Christmas here
has got to be pretty good.

We have been blessed with lots of Miracles, I've seen great heights
and great disappointments from only being here a few days. Firstly we
have almost got two new investigators lined up for Baptism before
Christmas two miracles and one of there former investigators despite
family opposition decided to Choose to come to Church... but because
so many good things happened we had a day of complete opposition which
was the most I've ever got on my mission, we had 8 investigator
lessons fall through and the sad thing was I took forever to organise,
we had members come out for every lesson and the thing was they were
solid lessons, I would have put money on it that those people would be
in when they said they would if I was a betting man.

However... the ward here is amazing! Our ward mission leader is
Japanese, how fashionably attractive is that! It was a real desire of
mine to learn Japanese before my mission and now I'm here. I mean we
still have a good time here.

One thing that is a little strange is all the Welsh road signs with
there super long names, I'm going on exchange with some missionaries
in a place called Porthmadog which is just way out there in North
Wales, I'll be sure to take some pictures because it rivals the Isle
of Man in terms of most picturesque area of the mission.

Life is settling down here and it seems a lot more calm and safe than
Liverpool, I think some people even leave there front doors open. This
is that kind of area. But I am excited to baptise here in Chester, we
are going to have a White Christmas, with all that white baptismal
clothing.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Weekly Update 22 November 2012

Pictures of the Missionaries in the Liverpool ward just before
transfers, we had 4 companionships and one missionary in eeach
companionship got transferred,

I got a picture with my new companion, Elder Corbin... he is the
taller one in the last picture.





Hello!

I've been bouncing around the mission so fast these few weeks, who
knows where I could end up next year. But, it is exciting and fresh.
I've been transfered to Chester.

It's an interesting place Chester... our missionary flat is on the
Border of Wales and England and we drive between Wales and England
almost every hour, it's a fun experience, the missionaries in the
Chester Zone cover most if not all of Northern Wales.

Missions are interesting, my first two areas were 6 month areas and my
last two areas have been 6 week areas. It seems like I go in to areas,
find and teach a lot of people and I leave the Baptising to other
missionaries, which is okay, because they are the Lords baptisms at
the end of the day. These past few weeks in the Liverpool Zone we have
been reaching new heights we even had about 30 investigators at
sacrament in the Liverpool ward, that is just pure amazing!

However, Christmas in Chester is going to be amazing, because we cover
some of England and Wales, we have a huge area! Driving is always fun
on those small welsh roads... it's all full of hills, it reminds me of
driving on the Isle of Man a little. Chester is a very posh,
traditional place, and our missionary flat is way nice... I slept like
an angel last night.

Leaving Liverpool was hard... it was by far one of my most favourite
areas, not that I don't have "not favourite" areas, but it was a good
learning and growing area, eventually we saw so many miracles and so
many families come closer to Jesus Christ and many people in Liverpool
were just ready and humble enough to receive the gospel.

However, transfers is not a time to look back, it is a time to look
forward. I can see amazing things happening in Chester, it will be a
revelatory time and a time to shape up. Have I mentioned we have a
weight bench in our flat? Isn't that just gorgeous. Plus I'm going to
get myself a Welsh missionary name badge. The ward here seems great,
we went to youth last night and it was so fun, the youth want to serve
missions.

I think I might call it Celestialisation in Chester. The Celestial Law
is one of sanctification, of dedication and of refinement. When we
meet those requirements then we are Celestialised. Chester is the
place were it is going to happen.

I'll e-mail more on Monday! Possibly with some more interesting facts.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 12 November 2012

Weekly Update 12 November 2012

Hello Everyone!

I really can't believe I am here again, things keep picking up and the
times I wish things could slow down are plentiful, I love trials and
opposition, they refine you... in fact I wish I could have more of
them. It is a brave statement, but without sacrafice and increase
refinement we aren't fulfilling our purpose in this life.

Something I enjoyed this week was presenting a training to the
missionaries in the Liverpool Zone, I had given a few district
meetings but it was the first real time I had to cater my training
skills to such a variety of missionaries with their individual needs
and desires, it was interesting but I took to it very nicely. It
reminds me that we need to have "whole soul devotion" to what we do,
thinking about those things and times I could have gone back on my
mission and told myself "just let go" or "do you really think that is
going to help you on your mission?" I wish I had let go of the things
that keep me from achieving my full potential earlier on my mission,
but I have repented since... I invite you all aswell, to take those
things that keep you from being the "best you", take them away.

Mormon.org seems to be doing a lot of work for us recently, we have
had success with it, just referal after referal. The people that
usually refer themselves to us have usually done a lot of reading
around, so you never know what to expect during a visit with one of
those referals, for example... this week we taught a mormon.org
referal and he had questions about everything from Outer Darkness, to
the Urim and Thummim and the Word of Wisdom. It is so great because it
absolutely keeps you on your toes.

This week I've pondered quite a few things, I think as you grow older
in the mission field most of your thoughts are preoccupied by three
major things: 1) your investigators 2) other missionaries (especially
if you are a missionary leader) 3) your companion. There aren't many
instances of "you" time. One of our investigators really is a
"investigator" in terms of looking out for any unreallness or any
things that aren't quite right. It is so scary to teach someone like
that, she can read us like a book, every thought, every suggestive
body movement that might signify nervousness or deceit, will be
instantly recognised.

I absolutely love it! It helps me grow, it helps me get rid of any
"conditioned behaviour" such as the "I know that what my companion
said is true" phrases that just come out of those robotic
missionaries, if I wanted my investigators to hear robots I would just
record the lessons and give it to them, but there needs to be a
sincerity, a knowledge, things that are "caught" instead of "taught",
those things will bring true and lasting conversion, it is an exciting
time for me.

The last principle that I want to highlight that I learn this week,
sort of deals with a successful marriage. On your mission your really
and truely learn life lessons, I wouldn't want to say I've learn how
to deal with women on my mission, but perhaps I could say these few
words of advice to perhaps a few men that need it, including myself.
Firstly, I would like to put a disclaimer, I didn't learn this out of
disobeying mission rules or anything like that... it was just
revelation at a needed time. It's a very simple principle. Listen.
More importantly however, Listen to the things that AREN'T being said.

I just want to repeat that again, "listen to the things that aren't
being said" it is good to listen, but listen and think... I wish I had
learned that a lot sooner, so many failed times where I have thought
"I am such a good listener, in fact I might just call myself Mr.
Fantastic" didn't produce the desired outcome. Preach my gospel
teaches us, when you listen with love, you will always be given what
to say. People generally highlight what they are comfortable with, but
they will never speak about their fears or state bluntly what they
actually want, I find that women perhaps more so than men fit this
category more (it's a generalisation) but when we listen to what isn't
being said we better understand their fears and perhaps what they are
uncomfortable with, when we can better address what they are scared
of/ what they aren't comfortable with... then we are a true friend and
that is when we are really helping them, perhaps even though they
might not know why we are addressing those completely random subjects.

It is a very powerful tool when used with the spirit, for instance I
had an instance where a missionary asked "why am I not happy in
missionary work?" and all I had to say "Elder... how are your prayers
going?" completely not addressing the question, but God sure knows
better than I do.

It has been a good week, we even had 5 of our friends at Church. But
try listening to the words unspoken... you will see miracles, just try
it.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 5 November 2012

Weekly Update 5 November 2012

Weeks really are just getting so fast at this point of my mission it
really feels like I just e-mailed you all... I closed my eyes for a
few minutes and I am back here again, infront of this computer.

But the best missionary is the one that is always in the middle of his mission.

Hi!

It's freezing, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love being
here in Liverpool, I love this stake so much I would even consider
moving back here after my mission. The Liverpool Stake is where it is
at. Our assigned proselyting area is the Liverpool city center/
unversity, so we just keep meeting students here and just interacting
with them bring so much fun into the work. If I could go back and tell
myself at the beginning of my mission, if I could tell the old Elder
Sapaden something, I would tell him "if you aren't having fun whilst
doing missionary work, you are doing something wrong."

This week although I have been all over the place, I was over in
Manchester for a bit, I was back in Bolton and I revisited St. Helens
for a few days. We have so many opportunities to work with other
missionaries and go to many meetings as missionary leaders it is very
intense, but it's good because it keeps you on your toes and never
allows those moments we can get too comfortable.

Going back to St. Helens was great. I got to see so many old faces, if
I could choose a ward I would want to move into it would have to be
St. Helens. They are just so friendly and nice, I love it. Whilst I
was in Manchester though we did a lot of good. We taught a lot and
helped a few missionaries there.

St. Helens was such a good place and we managed to set up many
appointments and teach a lot of solid lessons, it reminded me of a
period of my mission where I wish I had done better, where I wish I
could have performed better, but I learnt those lessons for a reason
and I've become the kind of missionary I am from those times. We were
able to rectify that by working extremely hard on exchanges. I would
say regret is a form of hell.

We never want to leave behind those "what ifs" and those moments where
we know we could have done better, I describe it as hell because they
eat away at us and they are the moments we have fallen short from our
true potential. Those "what ifs" are my biggest fears in life and
perhaps at the Judgement bar of God we will all feel that same sense
of "if only I had done that better" I couldn't be more grateful for
the Atonement and for the great gift of repentance, for without it we
would all be lost causes.

I don't even know what happened to this transfer it is all gone
already, this Saturday I bumped into my previous companion Elder
Nicassio, there is such a special bond between a missionary and his or
her trainer. He has come far... a great experience that I would love
to share with you is about his conviction to this work.

He got a "Dear John" recently I could tell it really affected him, he
talked about her quite frequently and he even planned on marriage
after he got home. He knew of the sacrafices I had made to go on a
mission, he knew that it wasn't easy and he knew that I didn't let any
of the bad news I received from home affect the work. Elder Nicassio
is great and he asked himself how I would react and he recommited to
work as hard as possible. As his trainer I feel a sense of pride, not
the bad kind, not the kind where I feel glory for his accomplishments
but pride in the sense of knowing he is at a good place and he is
going to be a great missionary leader one day.

I love missions, you learn that the mistakes you make do not define
you but they refine you. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Those trials we receive are a privilage from God, they show how much
he loves us, they show how much he trusts us to pick ourselves up when
it is too easy to just say "I give up" I want you to know of the
reality of the principle, he trusts you, he really does.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 29 October 2012

Weekl Update 29 October 2012

Hello Everyone!

I am just so Celestial right now, if I could describe it in a few
words I would express myself by saying I was in one of those skin care
adverts where peoples skin is just literally glowing. I feel that I am
glowing! But not translated, just like Steven in the Sanhedrin.

This week was just "worth it" I had a great exchange as a Zone Leader
with a missionary that is struggling slightly it was a great life
lesson, I think you pick up a lot of those on your missions. It was a
parenting lesson I would say. People around you will always struggle,
it is by the nature and virtue of this mortal state, things happen
people get upset but you have to deal with it. As missionary leaders
we have wonderful opportunities to give correction, now we aren't the
"Police" of the missionary world, but we are the people who "love"
people into living their full potential, the greatest tragedy in this
world is unfulfilled potential, and so it is just like Jesus Christ to
help us become what he sees in us.

We are still teaching our wonderful Czech and Hungarian families, they
are progressing like Lehis family to the Promised Land. The
commitments and soul searching that they are making are just so
wonderful. We had a great opportunity to fast this week, fasting for
me is one of the hardest things ever, if there is something that I
love, it is food. However, a enhanced understanding of the "Why" makes
it all worth it. Fasting is not just going without food because God
says so, it is much more than that simple way of thinking it is
communion, communication, reconcilation with a diving being and our
mortal will being swallowed up in his will.

Something that was fun was picking up the Isle of Man missionaries up,
remember a few months back I took the Sister missionaries out of the
Isle of Man, well this Transfer they took the Elders out and put the
Sister Missionaries back on. It was great being able to recall the
times I was an Isle of Man missionary being thrown out on to the
streets of Liverpool by the Liverpool Zone Leaders at the time and
talking to people for 9 hours, it was exhausting. It was good to talk
to them and to talk about the Isle of Man... the perks of being a
Liverpool Zone Leader I suppose.

This week we had President Kearon come to visit the mission, he was
great he was real and he gave the mission just what was needed, it was
a time for revelation and learning... I love receiving personal
revelation, without it we would be lost.

This week we have decided to up the University work, it will be great
to see how this upcoming week will be, just focused on the University
area, I love it!

Love,

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 22 October 2012

Weekly Update 22 October 2012

Hello Everyone!

To explain what I mean by the subject line (they are usually stretches
of actual truth) this week I caught my companion in a huge pool of
water. It was pretty intense... I was actually witnessing this event
here is my account of the dealings:

"My companion actually in a huge pool of water, he was practically
swimming. That is so unapproved. Then it appeared that he was actually
trying to get someone to join him. This person came up to him and
grabbed his arm, they were practically wrestling, finally he dunked
this young candidate into the water. He even pulled him back up. They
were both wearing white."

You got it... we Baptised! It was so good and he [Ben] is going to
serve a mission!
It is such a wonderful feeling to Baptise, the difference between the
"Before" and "After" are greater than any comparison of photos can
provide, it is the essential essence of life. It is beautiful, it is
between staring at the gate and actually entering in and in a very
literal sense knowing "the grass is greener on this side rather than
the other." Word cannot express the sacred relation of this covenant,
"how it is possible?" and the "why? it is possible"

Ben is a great young man and is very settled into the ward, he is part
of one of them and he is just amazing! He is great dreams and desires
and he is going to be a missionary one day, I just know it.

Liverpool is just the land of dreams, everyone has a special vibe to
them and there is so much potential in this area, I can easily say it
is going to be one of my favourites. The members here are very
strong... many of them coming from the early days of the Church in
England. Something that I have particularly enjoyed is the culture, it
is very Comical and just everything you would think about in an
earlier society.

We have found 2 families to teach, a Hungarian family and a Czech
family. Teaching both with out the aids of Pampflets or DVDs is like
playing a game of Sharades. It is amazingly difficult and sharpens our
teaching skills very well. Let me tell you of a sacrafice they have
made this week. The Hugarian family came to Church yesterday.

Imagine a very cold morning, those brisk, foggy ones that you wouldn't
dare think of walking through. Imagine those cold winds and despite
perhaps a few sinners returning home from a late Saturday night
walking through this morning of an early Sunday it is you and your
family. All of them came, 4 Adults and 3 Children walked perhaps 20-30
minutes to get to Church, that is sacrifice. That is the Gospel of
Jesus Christ, in one of its purest forms. Are we Transforming members
of the Church or are we Conforming members of the Church? Do we really
seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all it's righteousness? or do we
let ourselves fall short and say "eat, drink and be merry", "God will
justify in commiting a little sin" let us all be familiar with a hymn
"Praise to the Man" for within it is contained one of the most
essential truths of the Gospel "Sacrafice brings forth the blessings
of Heaven"

This family in a very real was experienced this atonement on
yesterday's unforgiving, foggy, brisk morning... I would say you could
even compare that to what those early saints did on those plains in
those exact same conditions. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it was
exactly like that but I am saying, there is no better way to prepare
for God than through sacrafice. Which that Hugarian family did.
Imagine those little Children, those sacrafices they made to try and
get themselves closer to God through sacrafice.

But I want to highlight a point nonetheless, ask yourself... right
now. At this very moment "What are you Sacraficing?"

I'm not asking you to account to me, but account to yourself. Never be
in a position to say "nothing" because if you aren't then you my
friends are not taking advantage of the Atonement. This is an extreme
way to say it but I will say it "if you aren't sacraficing, then to
you that Atonement has been in vain" I pray that you will sacrafice,
countless times in the Old testament sacrafices were made for whatever
reason they may be; repentance, self mastery, gratitude. Sacrafice is
one of the quickest ways to get closer to our Saviour and Redeemer. I
know if you Sacrafice those blessings of heaven will come as you trust
and apply through faith that eternal and infinite atonement. The price
has been paid, the law given, it is your choice to use that free gift.
I pray that we will all use it.

With Love,

Elder Sapaden

p.s. we are so going to get a member to give them a lift to Church next week.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Weekly Update 15 October 2012

Hello Everyone!

This is what a real mission is! Liverpool is the home of opposition
and for that I am grateful for, because when God gives us a trial is a
sign that he trusts us to get over it and pick ourselves up when we
fall. Opposition is also a key indicator of good things that are about
to come. Let me briefly share one with you.

We were knocking doors trying to find a less- active member in the
area. We knocked on the persons door called Paul, Paul was Irish and
he wasn't interested at first he tried to send us away, he looked at
me and asked "are you Phillipino?" I replied "Yes, I sure am" he had
so many Phillipino friends, he invited us in, poured out a drink for
us and started tell us how he had a Half- Phillipino son, and he spoke
almost fluent Filipino, now have you ever seen an Irish man ever speak
Filipino? Well neither had I. It was quite a sight; he called some of
his Phillipino friend right then and there and asked them if they
would want us to come over. He even just gave us many names of
Filipinos and their addresses and drew maps for us for how to get to
those houses. What a great man.

Its funny Elder Webb has wanted to baptise a Phillipino family his
whole mission, he is pretty famous in the mission for that desire
because it is so different, he has envisioned and enquired of the
Lord, and now I'm with him to accomplish that great desire.

I love driving again, we live in a four missionary flat (it's my first
four person flat) and we are living with Chinese speakers, so that is
pretty intense, I love being around the Chinese missionaries they are
just so diligent.
This week we have taught a lot. There is a good reason for that. You
cannot be called a Leader or even a Zone Leader and lead from the
back, you always need to literally "lead" in number of lessons, in
speaking to people, you just need to lead. It is a very refining
experience, I thought I had already been trained to be a missionary;
I've even trained a missionary. But being a Zone Leader is a whole
different "Ball Game" (for lack of a better phrase) it is all about
progression about growing about making mistakes all over again and
then correcting them.

We even found a family to teach and baptise already, a Hungarian
family who just want to follow Jesus Christ, it is a big family but
they are great. We are Baptising this Saturday and by the looks of it
Liverpool is the highest Baptising ward in the mission, just as Bolton
was.

It accountability I feel as a Leader is scary at times and sometimes
it is the same fear I felt as a new missionary, not knowing what to do
or what my responsibilities are, I just know that these missionaries
around me are watching very closely at every action I take, just as I
was when I was a new missionary. The people of Liverpool are just so
friendly and there sense of humour is just fantastic, they could make
anyone laugh, it's a huge city and in many ways it's just a smaller
London except the people talk way different here.

A true principle that I learnt recently is: if you want to see a
change in the world, you must first be that change. If I want
missionaries to speak to 100 people everyday (a very hard, challenging
task requiring you to speak to everyone you see) you have to speak to
200 people a day (requiring you to run after everyone you see in the
distance) I love it and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Love,

Elder Sapaden

Friday, 12 October 2012

Weekly Update 12 October 2012

Hello!

This has been quite a week, it was transfer week, I've been called to
serve as a Zone Leader in the Liverpool Stake. It is one of the
biggest areas with one of the most amount of missionaries to help them
direct the work. It is very strange because I've already spent more
than 9 months in the Liverpool Stake and I will probably spend more
than half of my mission associated with the Liverpool Stake, but that
is okay because it is the best Stake in the world!

Going back to Liverpool has really made me feel quite a range of
emotions, as an Isle of Man missionary we were thrown out into the
Streets of Liverpool by the previous Zone Leaders when we came over to
England for our Missionary Meetings like Zone Conference, ofter more
than week we spend serving these wonderful, brilliant people of
Liverpool. My whole mission I've often said "I wish I could go back to
Liverpool" and now I am here again, the great thing is automatically
I'm an honourary member of the Liverpool Stake. I have great
relationships with the Stake Leaders from serving around them, I went
often to the Stake President for dinner when I was a St. Helens
missionary. I even went to the Liverpool stake youth camp when I was
an Isle of Man missionary. I could live here and even if I picked up
the scouse accent and come home, I would go home a happy man.

Just like my experience on the Isle of Man, being called as a Zone
Leader has made my shoulders "heavier" the often misconceived "cloak
of comfortability" isn't really what it seems and it becomes a "robe
of responsibility" of one I welcome.

I love the growth and the progression of missions, you learn, you fall
and you grow. It is a very enlightening experience. Being someone
people can turn to in times of trouble and gloom isn't an easy call to
bear but it is one of solace and duty.

I'm also serving with another great companion, Elder Webb, Elder Webb
was actually in my EFY group and who would of thought all those year
later when we were together in 2008 that we would one day serve
together as the Zone Leader companionship in perhaps the most historic
sites of the Church in England, Liverpool; where the early prophets
and apostles first set foot on English ground, we are litterally
following the steps of great spiritual giants.

The fun thing is that I'm driving yet again, although having
stewardship of the Liverpool Zone and directing the missionary work
there is a great privilage. I get to here from the missionaries that
are serving on the Isle of Man and missionaries in St. Helens call us
everyday and update us on the status of the work there.

A great miracle has taken place recently, one of my investigaors that
I found on the Isle of Man is dated for Baptism tommorow. He is called
Rong Xin Zhou he is amazing, he also has a tremendous story! One day I
street contacted his parents and spoke to them in Chinese and they
said they were interested but would give us a call if they wanted to
learn more. They gave us a call a week later telling us hat there Son
would be interested. We have been teaching Rong Xin Zhou ever since,
he is the Miracle of my mission. I left the Isle of Man and he was
still being taught. He has read the Book of Mormon more than once
over, he even studied the Index! He studies the Chinese Gospel
Principles 2 hours everyday, he now has the Doctrince and Covenants
and the Pearl of Great Price in Chinese and he has gone to Church many
times, even attended General Conference.

He is the miracle of my mission, who would have thought, learning
Chinese 9 months ago would have resulted in a Baptism right now? God
has a vision of who we are and who we are to become. All we need to do
is to Go to work.

Another amazing this that has happened is that my trainee, Elder
Nicassio is Training! It is very rare and almost unheard of that a
missionary who has just finished being trained for three months will
train another missionary straight afterward. He is ready and prepared,
we have both created a legacy in the mission field and he will do
great things, I was just privilaged enough to train such a great
missionary.

When we get comfortable in the mission field, we know we have grown,
if I can lift 10kg comfortably there will be no progression in just
continuing to lift 10kg, however if I lift 15kg it will be hard at
first, but someday I will be able to lift 15kg comfortably and there
will be no progression in continuing to lift 15kg and thus we see that
this is how progression works. I came into the Bolton District, the
biggest District of missionaries in the Mission. They had 0 people
dated for Baptism. I left and they have 8 people dated for Baptism.
Throughout that Transfer it was painful ad hard, I grew and grew, I
was uncomfortable. Then I acted and got rid of it. Then I had no more
comfort zone. I had to be utilised to continue to grow and so I got
called as a Zone Leader, now the phone rings more often with questions
that these new missionaries have, with the problems that they want
solutions to, telling us, confiding in us of there struggles and we
are here.

This is growth "welcome to the discipleship of Jesus Christ!" I
welcome it with great joy.

Love,

Elder Sapaden

P.S sorry it was short I'l e-mail again on Monday

Monday, 1 October 2012

Weekly Update 01 October 2012

Hiya, duck.
This week has been quite wearing out, it has been a time of running, a time of reflection and remembring. I love the journey, when you look back on it all what you have done, who you have become. But you are just worn out. I wouldn't want it any other way, but everytime I manage to have a seat it seems that as soon as I close my eyes I just want to sleep, it's a strange state, I don't think I've ever been pushed to that limit/ capacity before but I welcome that feeling it is a great one!
I've really grown in a capacity of a district leader, I've grown so much, infact a word of celebration makes me full of joy. My district is currently preparing 9 souls for Baptism, we have been praying for each other, finding people to teach together and just strengthening each other through training and other means and it has worked out. We might be the highest "going to be" baptising district.
We have been spending a lot of time outside of Bolton due to my district leader resposibilities. We spend some time in Altrincham at the Mission Home as District Leaders to talk about the needs of the mission, I absolutely love the time I receive to litterally stand on the shoulders of giants. It's always a great spiritual experience.
We had a district meeting on the next day and even the mission president and the zone leaders came. It was the best district meeting I've ever given, the church is all about training, we help each other, or as Moroni 6 puts it we "Nourish" each other and help each other be perfected. Accepting the invitation to follow Christ is not the easiest one, it is an invitation do keep his commandments and become like him.
A highlight of my week was a comparison between Star Wars and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one of our most progressing investigators, Ash, he is so great and just willing to learn, we came up with a few comparisons, my favourite one being the Force obviously is like God, in certain places we learn that he is all encompassing, in all things and through all things there is a huge comparison there but we extended it. To use the force one must be focused, concentrated on only the best of best and it can only be handled upon principles of righteousness, being like the Priesthood (D&C 121) It is something I know many would consider geeky, but for an investigator to create a means of understanding principles of the gospel through analogies is great, so the force and the priesthood. Amazing. He gave me a quote I would remember for a lifetime "mormons with lightsabers"
So, being worn out in the service of God is great, but it isn't fun being in one of the wettest parts of England and having holes in your shoes, I've "upgraded" I figured why not, my suits are old and my shoes are old, I found the best place in the world, it's called "Slaters" eloquently posh, at affordable Elder Sapaden prices. So good!
We had a lot of Less- Active members come to Church which was such a great event, I love it and it shows to me that no effort is wasted.
My little spiritual segment for today comes from Helaman 5 read it this week and ask yourself "why is it important to remember?" even you don't escape homework from the missionaries.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden
(It is transfer Preparation Day, transfers is on Wednesday next week so don't expect an e-mail next Monday)

Monday, 24 September 2012

Weekly Update 24 September 2012

First, Some photos!



Behold, it came to pass that I, Elder Sapaden having had such a great week! Was taught from on high in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and blessed be the name of my God for it. And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received the things which have come to pass.
Hello!
If anyone knows where the scripture found on top has been paraphrased has come from, you are a true scriptorian, it's one of the few mentions of the work "wrestle" in the scriptures, I find it a very expressive and appropriate word for this week. Aswell the subject line means "tearing up the streets of Bolton" for those who don't speak spanish like myself.
What a great week it has been, it has been raining pretty much the whole week and our e-mailing on these computers have been accompanied by the gentle "pitter- patter" of the north west's orchestra of rain. As it lands on the ceiling of our local library. I don't know about you, but I am wet. Also strangely enough, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Also to those of the Staines Stake, I've been able to spend a lot of time around Elder Miranda. We are District Leader-Trainers in the same Stake, so we get to meet together often, we have swaped places, I'm in Bolton his previous area, and he is in my very first area, Rochdale. Also the line extends, we are both training missionaries who were MTC companions together. It's funny how missions work out.
This week we have taught many lessons again aswell, we have taught 24 lessons, Bolton is on fire, seriously, for my whole mission I've found it quite hard to teach more than teaching 20 lessons a week, usually about 15 or so, but since I've been here we haven't got anything lower that 20, we have also reached heights such as 34. if you are a companioship in this mission and you are teaching 20 lessons you are doing extrememly well, I was just meant to be here in Bolton at this time, it seriously feels that every step and everything we do here feels like we are acheiving destiny.
Something I love as a district leader is going on companion exchanges with missionaries in the district, I was able to spend a day with a new missionary that is being trained in the district called Elder Caleira from Portugal, he is great, that day we were able to teach 10 lessons, I love the faith that these new missionaries have, I brings me back to my first days of my mission in Rochdale working with the other missionaries because I was with a District Leader in Rochdale. I love it, missions really give an experience of the circle of life, you come into the mission field, not knowing anything, just knowing you are here to speak to people, half way through you know some stuff but not everything, you train, you become a "father" in a missionary sense as you show your trainee what he needs to do, and you inherit responsibilities and you direct and supervise and bless and encourage and then in a blink of an eye it's all over and you are home again.
I've been out on my mission for 15 months today and it just feels like I left home yesterday. In some ways it feels like I've done this forever, it's just what I do day in and day out, and in other ways it just feels like I've just begun.
We had Zone Conference this week, I love getting together with all the other missionaries and just talking to all of them and growing and working together. I've attatched a picture of Elder Miranda and myself and our two trainees (Elder Bytheway and Elder Nicassio) they have such great potential they are going to become great leaders in this mission someday.
A highlight of my week has been teaching a lesson in Spanish, obviously I wasn't able to understand everything, but I got to just stop and pause and watch Elder Nicassio teach. I've never felt more proud as a trainer, I saw his teaching skills, I saw myself in him, somethings I did that he is doing. I saw his ability to ask questions, to bear testimony, to be sincere and genuine, to listen and to be silent, I was able to see him becoming a master teacher. A quality of a master teacher is the ability to use silience in your teaching, I saw him wait for our spanish speaking investigators to answer, he wasn't afraid of awkwardness or silence, he just waited and listened.
Yesterday was a great sunday, we experienced so much success and the ward just want to come fellowshipping our investigators this upcoming week!
Here is my little short spiritual thought I will leave you with to ponder and pray upon.
What is Success? Success isn't a "baptismal stastic" it isn't a "number" or being the highest teaching companionship in the mission. Success is facing trial after trial without losing enthusiasm.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 17 September 2012

Weekly Update 17 September 2012

Hello!
What a great week it has been for tremendous spiritual growth! I have loved and enjoyed many experiences I have had, I know as your ponder and search dilligently while you read this e-mail the Spirit of God will touch your heart, it will help you make some changes that you are striving to make, but perhaps you might not even be aware of it. Here is where it all matters though, these promises are real, the Holy Ghost will touch you - but only if you allow it to. Don't get in the way of the Spirit.
On a much lighter note, Bolton is a promised land of sorts, in the scriptures and in various other places we are told "you are a people of inheritance" like any good parent he or she would want us to gain the most in this life. To gain what he/ she has and to become what he/ she is. Our Heavenly Father wants the same for us the attitude he has is "I want you to be who I am, do gain what I have, I want you to give you this power and ability but I can't I can show you how to gain who I am and what I have, but I cannot do it for you" It is an attitude of a great parent and a desire for us to achieve our full potential as Children of the Most High but we need to be Obedient. We need to be perfect like we are commanded to, however as human beings the only thing that we are perfect at is making mistakes.
That's why he is called the "finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2) because we do all that we can and we trust in him to do the rest. Our trust in God dictates the blessings we receive, Hope in an abiding trust that we have that God will fulfill his promises to us. Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." The amount of trust you have in him dictates the amount of success you will receive as a person in the world we live in.
If I could as a humble servant of Jesus Christ and as his representative exhort you all to do one thing, It would be to trust him, because he trusts us. It is something that has changed my mission, it is something that has helped me see the success I've experienced, trust is a powerful word, it presents the idea of a binding hope we have in a parent that loves us and give us the freedom to choose to make mistakes but to pick up ourselves when we do fall.
Something that I am guilty of myself is saying "I'm having a bad day" a bad day is only a perception that we have to decribe being in a state where we are the closest to God and being in a state where he is able to bless us. Thus consequently I don't have any more "Bad Days" I have Good days, and I have Great Days, Good is the enemy to Great. Somedays are hard and we frequently receive opposition by nature of this work, but we determine the promised blessings that will come only on how we "act" instead of "react" in those situations. Reacting takes away our agency, Acting unlimits our potential.
This week has been a tremendous week, I like to think I became more of a district leader this week, God qualifies those who he calls. I've truely experienced something fun, our efforts have been reflected in not only the Bolton Area but throughout the District, I spent a lot of time away from Bolton, but it was all worth it, in Whitefield they now have 2 people with Baptismal Dates.
I've become too much of a bold missionary recently. A few days ago I met some drunks and started talking to them, without hesitation I found myself asking them "why are you so ignorant?" "why are you so hard in your hearts?" questions that Jared Sapaden would have never asked, but questions that just flow naturally from Elder Sapaden. It's scary the confidence I've gained during my mission, it makes me feel nothing is impossible and that if the Holy Ghost prompts me to do anything - I will not hesitate to follow that prompting, when we get rid of our fears; faith is able to prevail. If the Holy Ghost told me to tell someone "why are you dragging your own soul to hell? repent and stop sinning - it's disgusting" I would. It's a strong feeling knowing that God is with you, those drunk people felt rebuked they left and they shrunk hopefully it touched their hearts and stopping in their own iniquity.
Although don't think I'm a trigger happy missionary, the Holy Ghost does not overide common sense and it certainly does not replace our ability to think to reason for ourselves. I'm not arrogant enough to say I am without fear, but it is a goal of mine by the end of my mission to have none, to be able to be a vessel that has the ability to do anything. Even if Jared tells me he is scared. A lesson that I have come to know so much is that when we limit ourselves, we limit our potential.
We are teaching many, we had an investigator at Church yesterday called Kakoko, we are still having great success and things that were once hard has become normal, I love growth! You look back at the journey you've made and it looks scenic at the height you've reached, you pick up a weight you felt was once heavy is now light. Growth is the reason we were put here, it is the whole reason to the plan, it is what we do and who we are. I am very aware that this is a longer e-mail than I usually send, please ponder, pray for the direction you need and he will give it to you, as long as you do not get in the way of that answer.
I love you all!
Elder Sapaden.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Weekly Update 10 September 2012

Hello!

First,
Enjoy, some pictures recently.
 
Me and my companion and just a rare opportunity to get the Ukulele out.
 




 
Well, what a week it has been, Bolton yet still proves to be a land of miracles. I have had one of the most successful weeks of my mission, perhaps even the most successful. We are easily one of the Highest teaching companionships in the whole mission, perhaps one of the highest in the Country. We had 34 lessons this week, it really makes me count my blessings, we have had 12 new investigators and many of them are very easily receptive to Baptism and a few of them have commited to Baptism.
We had 2 investigators at Sacrament Meeting, it is one of the greatest weeks I've had especially with being balanced in all the activities we have done. We taught a lot of lessons to investigators, we had 25 investigator lessons and we even mangaged to help with Less- Active work this week. But our week had been more than just high numbers we have had a lot of personal growth and I've been able to bless and strengthen many members of my District, I've enjoyed in my younger days as a missionary going on exchange with my District Leader and learning from them and their example, hopefully I can just live up to those same memories I had and set that example as their District Leader.
We are teaching a lot of people from Tanzania, we are teaching two families who have the desire to follow Jesus Christ, we are using our resouces such a French missionaries. It is such an exciting time, I love teaching African Families they really create a great atmosphere. It's a fun, friendly and inviting one.
A fun concept that we having been applying is something called "Celestial Days" we have been measuring the rate of success of our days with different events and if we achieve a certain number of the activities/ events we have a Celestial day. You aren't doing missionary work right, if you aren't having fun.
I've updated a lot of my Mormon.org profile, you all need to take a look at it, it is: mormon.org/me/87DG
My missionary work just went online!
I did a Musical Item this Sunday, it was my second sunday in the Bolton ward, it was just right. Their is a professional singer in the Bolton ward and we worked together and it was really good. Growing relationships with members is something that I love doing! It is really fun and I just love how we work together and create something magical.
I was focusing a lot on my feelings this week, being on my mission reminds me of how babies are, they can vary emotions very quickly, laughing one moment, crying the next, scream and shouting another but very content all at the same time. That's how I've been these past few days, I love missionary work, you grow, you stretch, you learn. It's not easy but it's possible.
I love you all!
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 3 September 2012

Weekly Update 03 September 2012


Elder Sapaden...es un missionero que habia en espaƱol?
 
Hello!
 
Well I only e-mailed you all last on Thursday and in normal human time not much could have happened, but in standard missionary time, so many thing have happened it is incredible. My first week in Bolton has been one of the best weeks of my mission, I've had so much fun and we have just accomplised so much! It started off slower, there was a lot I had to get used to including training, being on busses again, having a HUGE district and a whole new ward and area, I knew the Isle of Man like the back of my hand, but here in Bolton... it's a huge area that I still have to get used to, a success comes from being able to lead myself back home, I now know where home is at.
 
So we have just had great success we have just been so blessed, it was my first week here and everything just fell into place, me and my companion worked hard and we even hit new standard of work and it only been less than 5 days since I came here. We taught 20 lessons this week, set up more than 40 appointments to see people, taught about 10 lessons on-the-spot. My trainee Elder  Nicassio is just pretty much at normal missionary standard if not better, he is already managing to speak to everyone when we get on to the Bus. We gave away about 7 Book or Mormons in 3 days.
 
About the Subject line... I'm learning Spanish! Everyday we have to do Language study, I'm trying to teach Elder Nicassio about England as much as possible and to speak the best English, so he is teaching me Spanish so he can learn from me and I can learn from him.
 
Church was great yesterday! I really enjoyed it. The Bolton ward is very different to the Isle of Man ward, we have a multitude of Hugarian/ Czech/ Slovakian members, I love it, we have a few African members and the rest is english, Bolton is so diverse, there are areas in our ward boundaries if you go to you will not see any english people, it is definately intense.
 
It was my first Sunday and they fell in love with me already, we had a lot of great things happen, I was already glued into the ward because I came out with a missionary who was in the MTC with me who was from Bolton, aswell Elder Miranda has served here aswell for about 6 months, so it was just an instant connection and the fact I played piano for them immediately got us on a very friendly basis. This was the highlight of my Sunday: they loved my piano playing so much, it was my first Sunday in Bolton they already asked me to do a musical item next week, isn't that amazing?
 
3/4 companionships in my District are training, we have quite a few new missionaries in the District and they are great, I don't know what it is about the new missionaries but they just have such great faith! Well tommorow is going to be my first time to present a training to such as big district as it is, 5 companionships, 6 when the Zone Leaders come to District meeting and one thing I love is that I'm so close to Rochdale. Leaving my first area Rochdale was just as hard if not harder than leaving home. I'll be able to go to Rochdale atleast 3 times this Transfer so I am so excited!
 
Love you all!
 
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 27 August 2012

Weekly Update 27 August 2012



I got transferred!
To a wonderful place. More about that soon, but we will have some pictures.
These first few are on Mount Snowdon, and next are me and Elder Sutton





 More of Mt. Snowdon


more pictures...
Me and Elder Peterson met up again! He went home this transfer, and another Isle of Man attraction the Great Laxey Wheel, the biggest water wheel in the world.




some pictures of the Isle of Man whilst I was driving elder Sutton took pictures because we found out I was leaving the Isle of Man.



That's the boat we take, this time it was so intense! It was like a rollercoaster everyone was sick around me, Elder Sutton is training and so am I and on the picture their are the new missionaries we are with.




Well! My time as an islander has unfortunately finished. I'm now in the lovely City of Bolton!
The Isle of Man was great and I did shed some tears when I left, infact I would say it was as hard as leaving home again, but I'm off to pastures green (not literally because the Isle of Man was just pure green) but off to a great new exciting adventure with a new missionary! I'm training.
I'm continuing to be a district leader and we have one of the Biggest, if not the biggest District in the Mission, we have 4 companionships and a Senior Couple. Intense!
Three quarters of my district is training and our senior couple is just known for their amazingness. It is quite a jump from, the Isle of Man district.
We ended on a high note on the Isle of Man, almost literally... Elder Sutton and I did an intense Musical Item which brought many members to tears, people left the chapel in tears (hopefully that was a good thing) and it brought the spirit so strongly into the last sacrament meeting I had on the Isle of Man. Elder Sutton and I were just prepared for greatness, we were the Highest Teaching companionship in the Liverpool Stake, 23 Lessons! Forget bring "transferred to Bolton" I was  "translated" to Bolton. Just joking.
We had so much going for us on the Isle of Man, we got a group of about 7-10 less actives and had family home evening with them on Monday, we were just insanely busy teaching on the Tuesday, we had our last district meeting together. On the wednesday, we saw all our investigators and just prepared them. Thursday, we spent a lot of time focusing on members and saw a lot of less - active members and friday we did service for a few members aswell a mix between active member lessons and investigators, saturday we just dominated in finding people to teach and sunday we brought people to tears at church.
Some members were sleeping in the congregation, a few people just distracted, some children running around making noise, but when Elder Sutton and I started in our musical Item, it just turned to a silent awe, the noise stopped, it was the humble, not arrogant feeling that Elder Sutton and I could go to a recording studio after our missions and make an album together for a lot of money.
Sunday was a mixed bag of emotions for me, it was perhaps in some ways harder than leaving home, because I left me new found family, although there were more members of my family I had to leave, I had fallen in love with the youth, I helped in their stake camp and had made life long friends and it was so hard to leave, I knew it was no longer a "cloak of comfort" that was placed on my shoulders but with inheriting the biggest district in the mission and training a new missionary it became a "robe of responsibility" never will I be able to have a bad moment, I was always dilligent and had nothing to worry about but, with all these new missionaries in my district, brand brand new missionaries to add, 2 of them just came into the mission field yesterday. I will never had a moment where you couldn't say "he is a good missionary", it's a harsh lesson but... Amateurs count how many times they make it; Professionals count how many times they missed it. I'm going to grow a lot, it's not going to be easy but painful, but it's going to be worth it.
Well, in brighter news! My new companion is called Elder Nicassio he is from Urguay and he has lived in Spain for the past 6 years and he speaks great English! We are getting on great, it is a whole new feeling to train a new missionary, you feel so accountable. What is going through my head is "you are the example, you determine in many ways how the rest of his mission is going to be like, you need to be the best, there is no other option" and well, it is exciting and nerve racking at the same time.
Unfortunately I don't have much time to do much, yet... I'm still settling in so hopefully I'll have longer e-mails soon.
Love,
Elder Sapaden



Monday, 20 August 2012

Weekly Update 20 August 2012

Hello Everyone!!

This has been another one of those life changing weeks where you look back, and not in a prideful sense of looking back but you see that you have grown. What a good week! Perhaps rather, as the old saying goes "time flies when you're having fun"


We left the blessed land of Liverpool last Monday night and we arrived in Manchester. When you are on the Isle of Man as missionaries you become a commodity, a trading chip or a bargaining value. Well, it is great because in essence, that's who we should be just mere vessels to carry the spirit wherever, whenever even in whatever we do. So we decided Manchester would be great, you gain a sense of accomplishment when you realise that you are a missionary that "can be put anywhere" some missionaries just aren't meant to be used in some areas, but the best missionary is a missionary that the mission president can say "I can put him/ her anywhere and they will go and do great things"

On Tuesday we climbed/ hiked Mount Snowden, it was so intense, I was sore for three days afterwards, we did it as a mission activity, I have some great pictures but unfortunately I forgot my USB lead between my camera and the computer so, soon I promise! It was tough, I would have been able to do it before my mission with great ease, I would have been able to run all the way up perhaps, but we took the longest and hardest path and sometimes I even stumbled and had to take a break. But it was all worth it, at the top I felt like my legs would just give in and stop working, it was a moment in my life where I faced a physical mountain and I really had to pray, a quote comes to mind "when you can't stand, kneel." When times are tough and we can't see the top, pray, because God knows all and he can help. I'm very happy to say I made it down. It was heartbreaking at times, the top of the Mountain was just clouded over, it was higher than the clouds, we couldn't see it, but we had to believe it was there because any step taken without faith in "the top" would be a step towards insanity. To add to the situation, I didn't have my asthema inhaler, Elder Sutton and I forgot to bring food and because of the Situation I did something I never do, I forgot my wallet.

Prayer is the souls sincere desire, when we hear of the line "enticings of the Holy Spirit" the Holy Ghost is proactively using his influence to try and stir out hearts to rememberance, to remember God, to remember why and ultimately to remember to pray. Prayer I've never before realised was so important, I knew it was important, but how important, I did not know. I can testify of the reality that it really is such a sacred and special bond we have, I would go as far to even say that Prayer is a Privilage, God could have thrown us into the world to try and figure it out on our own, we would have definately had to have learnt the hard way, but he loves us and wants to talk to us, he wants to hear us and so we should pray. Strangely enough, I didn't need my asthema inhaler, food was given to us by random people who had acted on the promptings they received and I didn't even need my wallet! The lord does provide. I'll tell you what made it all the best though, for me it was a type for the Celestial Kingdom in a very different sense, we were litterally and physically above the clouds and when we got there, the view was absolutely amazing, in a very personable way Heavenly Father spoke to my soul, as I looked what I had climbed, what I had trialed through, the walk of affliction in a mortal state, and even though at the Top I was still sore, like Alma says:
" Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."


I'll call it the "I made it" feeling, I love reflecting thinking about what I have achieved, and at a greater height at the top of Mount Snowden what I still will achieve. Forgive me if it sounds cheesy but, Climbing physical mountains gave me a greater understanding of how we need to climb spiritual ones.

I've learnt something recently as a missionary, to pray ALWAYS, before we leave the car, before we leave the flat, before we sleep, when we wake up, even when I my investigators have any questions, I will stop and pause and pray in my heart, before we can do anything we have to pray, if we try and do it any other way, it is our own way and not Gods way, so rely on him for help.


Wednesday was another trek back to the Isle of Man, it was so intense, this time we moved to Manchester to just out of Manchester in Macclesfield (close to Sheffield, ish) Where we got back to the flat at 12 midnight and woke up at 4am, to get places (again) the life of a missionary isn't easy, but I'm telling you, self mastery wasn't easier.

This week we have been so blessed on the Isle of Man, we have taught a grand total of 15 lessons from Wednesday evening - Sunday, we were the second highest in the Zone and perhaps the highest if we were back on the Isle of Man earlier, so life is radiating gratitude right now, because things could not be better!
I love teaching and we are doing a lot of that, this week we even had 4 on the spot lessons! God is guiding this work, because if I said it was all me, I would be telling the biggest lie in the world. We have so many new investigators and next week we are going to be getting a lot of new ones aswell! I've said this before but I'll say it again "I hope Heaven has the internet because at the rate we are going the Isle of Man is going to be translated"

Love You all!

Elder Sapaden

"Quocunque Jeceris Stabit"