"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."

Monday, 26 March 2012

Weekly Update 26 March 2012


Well... what another fantabulous week it has been in Sunny St. Helens! The weather here is so good! Can you believe I've gotten a tan in the north west of England? Miracles are possible!

This week we had a great opportunity to teach during Church about testimonies and how faith is like a seed, we were using a Church DVD showing a video called "A man without Elequence" where President Brigham Young outlines the principle of it doesn't matter how you can say things/ how you sound when you bear your testimony... but rather how even if you do not have talent for public speaking a testimony that comes from the heart is where true conviction lies. So we taught those simple principles and we taught how Alma compared faith to a seed (Alma 32) and how we need to continue to nurture our seed (or our faith)
We had 5 minutes left in the lesson and I received a prompting, that I should show a video about temples to end our lesson. Obviously a bridge between talking about testimonies our whole lesson and then just showing  a video about temples was a pretty big jump... but I received a prompting and so I did. Just before we ended, a hand rose it was a woman who had recently come back to church, she said "it's funny that you should show that, I've been dreaming about the temple now for 2 weeks" I just love how blessed we are when we pay attention to the promptings we receive, we all need to develop testimonies to enter the temple, and when we do... what a beautiful moment that is!

Anyhow, what a week it has been, so many wonderful spiritual experiences, let's start off with one:

Elder Raybould and I had just finished lunch and we had just a few hours to pass before our next teaching appointment, so far everything that day had feel through, our potential investigators weren't in or they had cancelled... it was pretty bleak to go talking to people on the streets on an average Monday afternoon. We were speaking to everyone. After a while we had gone around, speaking to everyone who was walking around, no one wanted to stop to talk to us for some reason (perhaps the timing or just the weather) and so we decided to talk to people who were sitting down, we approached a man who was sitting down on a public bench with two suitcases near his feet, he didn't look too happy but we spoke to him anyway. His name is John, John explained to us that he had just become homeless that day and that all his worldly possesions were in his two suitcases underneath him, he had no where to go... he was originally from Leister so he had come a far way... and he was litteraly stuck with no where to go.

We explained to him that there were no co-insidences in missionary work, and that we were just meant to meet him at that time, we sat down and he agreed that he would allow us to teach him and so we did, we taught that alot of bad things happen sometimes to good people, but it was all part of a bigger picture that we couldn't see yet. He is now one of our investigators and we took him to a local homeless shelter (because he didn't know the area too well) and carried his bags for him there, he was so grateful and so were we... Heavenly Father put us in the right place at the right time, sometimes we just don't initially see where sucess lies, but when we pay attention to the promptings we receive miracles happen!

We are also teaching a Slovakian couple, they sure are amazing... they were taught in Slovakia by missionaries, and we just happened to bump into them the other day... God really does "Prepare a way" (1 Nephi 3:7) for us to do much good, we just have to look for the way he has prepared for us.
I had a very strengthening experience this week, we had a potential investigator who was a single female and due to increasing legal complexities we cannot go into her home by ourselves alone, so her appointment was in an hour from when we last met her and we were stuck, we called many of our ward members, they were either busy or at work. I don't like the feeling of being let down, so I proceeded to call all our members one by one...I just went down our phone list... and during all my conversations with members I asked them who do they know who would be availible to come with us... and there was no luck. Until it came to the last name on our phone. I called the last name on our phone and it was a member who I had never heard of going out with missionaries before... I invited him to come out and he met us at the time and place appointed, well he was even 5 minutes early! I love how the Lord makes you go just one step further.

It reminds me of when Nephi had broken his bow, he had tried to continue to hunt... Nephi asked where should he go to Hunt... the Lord told him to go to a mountain. Now, it was probably easy for the Lord to put an animal infront of Nephi for him to hunt and for him to have a "quick fix" or it would have been easy for Nephi to just try without the Lords help. God told him to go "one step further" and he was successful in his hunt. I've developed such a strong testimony of this principle during my mission.

This week we decided to find somewhere near Liverpool and so we did... I had another Crazy experience! So I met a Chinese man, and I start off talking to him in English and I ask him if he speaks Mandarin, he replies "yes" and he asks me if I do, I reply "a little" I start off a conversation in Mandarin telling him what we share and asking him about his religious beliefs, he then presumes I am chinese and keeps on speaking, at this point I don't know what to say because he just went on for a couple of minutes and then it is silence I'm staring at him and then I reply "really?" in Chinese... he smiled and said "really" he probably thought I could understand all of what he said... I proceeded to ask him some more questions and I give him the website. I love Chinese people!

What a great time it is to be a missionary!

Love you all!

Elder Sapaden

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Weekly Update 21 March 2012

Hello Everyone!

This week has been a total miracle! We have been so busy, but it is so good to be busy! We have been finding alot of people to teach this week and we have been going to many places for that, but mostly just pushing forward with faith. So we just started off the week with two solid days of finding, this week I can say I've spoken to about 400+ people, it sure is tiring, but it is worth it!
We have been having great opportunities to serve members in the ward recently, we have done some back breaking service! Digging up concrete posts, pulling up roots longer than my arms, and lot of manly stuff. I love being able to serve, it is a literal fulfilment of what we do as missionaries, we are called to "serve" and that is not just limited to finding and teaching. On my mission I have found service projects top be some of the greatest teaching opportunities.

In St. Helens we have alot of people who set up appointments with us, but aren't willing to take it any further, it really helps me know that we really are looking for the prepared. Oh... that reminds me, I haven't gotten transferred! Elder Raybould and I are staying together for another transfer in St. Helens, we really have been able to accompish new heights never before seen in St. Helens and we are so lucky not to be seperated to continue this positive flow upward.

This week I have had an opportunity to work with the Zone Leaders in Liverpool, I love working with the Zone Leaders, it's so exciting and you just learn so much. Our Zone leaders here in Liverpool are both Chinese speaking missionaries, so while on exchange I had an opportunity to teach alot of chinese students who have only been in the country for about 6 months and it really is exciting. A couple of them were under the impression I spoke fluent Chinese, it's really funny to have a Chinese person talk fast in Chinese back at you, trust me it an experience of a life time. Well, during my Zone leader exchange we had to do alot of unusual things, like get an M.O.T for their car, that's pretty unusual, I've never done that before on my own. We also got to go to a Chinese Warehouse to shop for a chinese activity they had later on in the week. I love doing new exciting, spontaneous things that you wouldn't picture missionaries doing! They had alot of Filipino things aswell.

Well, the miracle of this week is on Saturday!

We were able to do an hour consecrated to find people to teach, during that hour we found, we ran after everyone we saw in the distance, we knocked every door we saw someone in the window, we tried our hardest and there wasn't a moment I wasn't out of breath. At Fourty Minutes of the hour gone by it started pouring down, but we kept on finding, no one could stop us, not even the fiercest of rain. We were soaked and a part of me said "no one is going to stop to talk to us in this weather" the time soon passed and it we had found for officially 59 minutes, but we had to keep finding for that one extra minute, because Heavenly Father blesses us when we go that one step further, and he didn't let us down... at 59 minutes it was pouring down and we talked to a man with a hood on, we could barely see his face he told us to knock on number "302 ____ Street"  in a minute and so we did, he let us in, we taught him and his wife who were both very strong Christians from Slovakia, they had contact with the missionaries in Slovakia and had even received a Book of Mormon in Slovakian, how I love Miracles!

We had a good mothering sunday, we taught Priesthood and Gospel principles so it felt like Sacrament meeting was our "time of rest" and so it should be. I am having so much success with my Mormon.org profile, recently we have been visiting members during tea appointments and training/ teaching them about Mormon.org and the success we have had with it. I have given my Mormon.org profile to so many people, recently a young woman in my ward told me that she shared my profile with her friends!

I don't know how Mormon.org works but right now if you type in "London" I should be the first one to come up!

"have we not great reason to rejoice?" - Alma 26

Elder Sapaden

Monday, 5 March 2012

Weekly Update 5 March 2012


This week has been Fantabulous! We have seen so much success and so much joy in the work. So we start off with last monday. The St. Helens ward have been working with a few part member families and we were invited to go around to this one home but now be "too preachy" and so we weren't it ended up being a total success, all of our conversations were about Church and it really was a testimony to me that if you really concentrate, and really listen there will always be a principle of the gospel you can relate to anything. The sun is shining and God lives, what more could you want?

On Tuesday were were able to really be dilligent, we were finding all day! I love finding people to teach. Sure it can get tiresome, it can be long, but talking to people about their lives and seeing the fire flicker in there eyes, just remembering a long time ago in a far off place we were once brothers and sisters really makes my heart beat faster. I love that feeling. I think it has made me such an extravert. I can't stop talking, even now as I type this e-mail, I'm talking. It's a talent if you ask me. You know something I love, I love being spontaneous, because it really is in those moments you see how much you have developed. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation, that has been my motto for the past week, I love doing something that I have prepared in my mind, I love asking questions that make people really think, and then they think, they think some more... they answer me with a perfect text book answer, it makes me smile and I testify to what they say and well they become an investigator and the rest is history. I used the word "love" alot, it just shows the type of person I have become... I "LOVE" my mission. I love coming home tired and saying "Elder, that was a great day!", not to my companion, just to myself in the mirror, and I love my thoughts of how I can better help my investigators keeping me up at night.

Wow, my e-mails have become my feelings on a computer screen than a weekly update... but I shall continue! Don't you just love this?

So... We really have been able to take opportunities of many things, something I have been advertising is my Mormon Profile, it is just such a great tool, I'm trying to refine it, like white gold, like... stainless steel, so that when I give it to people on the streets, to people we are teaching and to members of the ward they see that I am just more than a face in a suit, but something beautiful and purple (it's my favourite colour)
I have such a strong testimony of "positive self talk" sure it comes from having confidence and a nice "balanced" ego such as my ego. So I made an "attractive things about me" list so just keep on looking at my mormon profile over the next few weeks because if "long walks on the beach, sitting by warm fires with good company and looking for challenges" doesn't make it personal, it'll be refined.

I was in Southport on exchanges this week and it was amazing, I love being near the seaside, 90% of the people we talk to stopped for us and we spoke to alot of people. I love it when it's sunny, it really makes a difference. People are happy, people stop and people talk. I love all three of those things! I realise I am saying "love" way too much and not on purpose, this will go down in my journal as the "love" e-mail. I love e-mailing too!
We converted some people there, did some smiling, some uplifting and then I came back to St. Helens.

St. Helens is just the best area of the mission, I love it! We were teaching alot this week and I've really tried to take my excitement to a whole new level, I don't know if that is possible. The gospel makes people happy and I am happy sharing it! I am on top of the world right now. Nothings going to bring me down.

I need to write a positive self talk song on my Uklele later, hopefully this excitement/ enthusiasm/ energy is contagious and you all get it from reading this e-mail and it just doesn't look silly. The member here have been trying to catch me not smiling/ happy. It isn't going to happen.

I just feel like I need to say. I love you all!

Love, Love, Love

Elder Sapaden