"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, 23 April 2012

Weekly Update 23 April 2012


Let's start off by talking about "the situation of the week", this Sunday the Warrington ward came to Church with us in St. Helen's because there chapel was being used for something and so we had twice the amount of people, which is quite a lot of people. We had also arranged for our Slovakian investigator to come to Church but the conditions were that we had to pick him up at about 12:00 from his Church, so Elder Lamb and I needed to do something because we were also by chance teaching the Gospel Principles class as well, so I had to teach it on my own. It was a little tough, I mean when you get set apart as a missionary you lose all fear for anything, that includes crowds or any manner of awkward situation that might arise, and so I had to teach a whole class by myself, I coped pretty well, if I have to say so myself... to start off I like to get to know my class, so we shared "random facts" about ourselves. One woman said "I have a condition where I'm always tired, I have something always on my mind, sometimes I can't go to sleep at night because I think about a lot, I over think things" to which I replied "wow, that's interesting, so do I! It's called being a missionary!"

I wouldn't trade being a missionary for the world! One of the most joyous feelings is when it's 10:30pm and we go to bed, and just the mere thoughts of "how can I best help _____?", or in the words of Jacob 5:41 "And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?" "What more could I have done today?" As a missionary my personality has really developed quite significantly, it's changed into an attitude of constant self evaluation, "What could I have done more?", there are always things that we can do to improve, there are always moments and situations we could have handled more effectively, there are always times where we could have run further than we have strength. I'm reminded of a song "To dream the impossible dream, To fight the unbeatable foe... this is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far" Our roads to self- mastery all differ there are some temptations and trials that I will face that perhaps you might not. However, sometimes Sin might now be a form of a sin of commission, but perhaps a sin of omission.

My greatest fear as a missionary, is that Heavenly Father has placed someone who I am supposed to find, who I am supposed to teach and baptize, but somehow through my human frailties, perhaps through my weakness and my inability to run faster than is required, I miss out on that opportunity, and consequently that person misses there opportunity and so there future children miss there opportunity and so on, that is truly the reason why I run. But however we need to remember the words spoken in Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I love being a missionary!

So this week we have been blessed with some more great opportunities! A highlight of my week is teaching our Slovakian investigator, he is just so sincere and he really knows his Bible well, some missionaries may wish "I wish I knew my scriptures better" sometimes I think all of us wish we do, perhaps although a great lesson I've discovered is that we should know our scriptures well, but more important than teaching doctrine is teaching to recognize how to recognize and understand the spirit. Sure, I could prove the validity and actualness of the Book of Mormon using the Bible, I've come to know my Bible pretty well too. But more important than that is teaching how to gain a personal witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon through the Spirit. I can prove things to people, I can show things to people, but I cannot convert people, God does that for me.
We taught him and he even came to Church this weekend as well, he met the Bishop and was invited around for dinner at a member home already and it is his first Sunday visiting the St. Helen's ward... isn't that wonderful? The ward here in St. Helens really is supportive, I love it!

Another great lesson I've learn't as a missionary is sometimes the High Priest group leader says "temple, temple, temple" the Elder Quorum President says "home teaching, home teaching, home teaching" the Relief Society President says "Visiting Teaching, Visiting Teaching, Visiting Teaching", the Bishop says "Read and Pray, Read and Pray, Read and Pray" and the Ward Mission Leader says "Missionary work, Missionary Work, Missionary work"... they all approach it from different angles thinking that one is more important than the next, but truthfully they are all as equally important, it is one great work, there are not many different ways to the Celestial Kingdom but only one, which requires us to engage in all of the work, including going to the temple and missionary work... they are one in the same.

I love looking back at who I used to be, try it this week, my thought provoking question for the week is: "What are the top 5 Christlike attributes you have been able to develop in the past 12 months?"

I love you all!

Elder Sapaden

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