"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, 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.
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

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


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?
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