"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, 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!


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

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.


Elder Sapaden

Friday, 12 October 2012

Weekly Update 12 October 2012


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

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.


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)