"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, 28 January 2013

Weekly Update 28 January 2013

This week has been a fairly strange one, I wasn't with my usual companion from Tuesday - Saturday because we have been on back to back exchanges with other missionaries. I've been left on my own to lead Runcorn, which was pretty interesting, but it was really good. When I'm left to lead an area by myself for such a long time it really tests my abilities. We did well though, we had planned for about 15-20 lessons with a member present which really does stretch the mission standards. I love Runcorn, it's like a Business, when things are planned well and are followed through with, success is found.
A success that we found was with the youth, we played Basketball with them during our Preparation day, we really made friends with them, we then we to a buffet together and then we took them out fellowshipping, it was a good day. It is very cold here, it is very snowy and icy, driving here is quite extreme. The car slides all over the place sometimes, but I'm a good driver, we have had our fair share of drifts and even times where the car moves no where because it is so slippy one of us has to get out and push a long with the other tapping on the pedals.
Something that has become so real to me at this point of my mission is opposition. I find that when good things really happen and we teach, teach and teach and we lead in all that we do, it seems that there are moments in that week, that I've felt like giving up, it is a sad thing to say, but when investigators cancel it sort of becomes normal, we had over 10 lessons cancel this week, it seems to be even harder when members cancel on you, but I'm sure they have their difficulties too. I've found that that when someone cancels, you turn to yourself and ask "who am I meant to find now?" and then you go and do.
Missionary work teaches you a lot of life lessons, when you can see yourself in your investigators eyes, when you realise they are struggling with perhaps even the same sins that you have struggled with it becomes more real... a lot of missionaries see it like a Business, but it is so much more than that. When you can focus on the one and keep a more eternal perspective that is when a missionary becomes qualified. It is a good time to be a missionary.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 21 January 2013

Weekly Update 21 January 2013

It is freezing here in Runcornit is very cold. Ice and snow have taken over the place, it is really pretty but way cold. It was very interesting driving this week. It was like our car was Skating, we haven't had any major accidents yet, which is great. Driving in the ice/ snow is pretty interesting though, there has been a few accidents in the mission, North wales and the Liverpool area got hit hard, this week I used some bushes for my brakes, our car didn't stop even when I hit the brakes repeatedly. It is all okay though Charlotte (our car) still looks good.
Despite the snow we have had a very great week! We taught 21 total lessons, we even had 7 new investigators fall our of the woodwork. The Runcorn ward is a very missionary minded ward, I have a personal goal to have taken the whole ward fellowshipping at least once while I am still here in Runcorn. The week has been fairly crazy with all the things we have aimed to do, we had two exchanges, a meeting with the Stake President, our Saturday Book of Mormon experiment and all the things missionary like includes. The good news is as the Chester Zone we gave away just under 60 copies of the Book of Mormon on Saturday. We aimed to give away 20 Books of Mormon as a companionship so we can set the example for the Zone and we managed to give away 20! I carried around like a million copies in my bag that day.
This week I have also recommited to working out, I made my own personal gym in our little thrid floor room in our flat, it includes a bench and an array of weights. I even bought the goods to start off again. Protein and the old Creatine. My Biceps are still aching as we speak, but I suppose being on the downward slope of my mission I just feel an urgency to talk to anyone and everyone possible, I feel the urgency of getting back into shape of where I left off before my mission.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 14 January 2013

Weekly Update 14 January 2013

One of the first things we did here in Runcorn was buy a new frying pan, I made such a mean Stir- Fry this week, it was pretty incredible. This week has flown by. It started snowhing yesterday night, Runcorn is such a cold place, but I absolutely love it! This week was my first time on a Bike in such a long time. I got to go to an area called Wrexham for a little exchange, they don't usually use Bicycles that ofter, but I got them to dig them out so I we could go Bike contacting, it was a very new experience, talking to people on Bikes, pretty effective, I think. However, I was extra worn out at the end of the day. Instead of running to people it was only a case of pedaling faster, but I'm glad to be back here in Runcorn.
Time goes by so quick, my companion only has a month left to the day of his mission. Elder Corbin is a work horse, he is super motivated to work his best as the days count down for him. We are preparing a training for the Zone on Wednesday, we are going to achieve a new height, we are preparing them for a new activity that I've never seen in the mission field my whole mission. We are going to have a Chester Zone Book of Mormon placing day. We are going to aim as the Chester Zone to sincerely give out two boxes (about 80) Book of Mormons on Saturday. It is an exciting experiment.
A principle that I have been able to see work very effectively in my missionary work is economical finding. I love having a Sat- Nav. On my Sat- Nav, I put the whole ward list, practically our whole area book which includes: former investigators, our current teaching pool, part member families. So whenever we are in an area, we have more than about 5 "pins" to try- by including speaking to everyone on the way to each pin. It is the more excellent way, hopefully I will be able to teach as many missionaries this principle. If you can use your time wisely as a missionary, you have mastered each principle of serving a mission. Something I've learnt whilst applying this is that, Heavenly Father can help you the best when you have a direction, then he can place people in your path, rather than planning "lets go to speak to people in this general area" it is the more excellent way. We have a few investigators that have told us that they want to be Baptised, being a more experienced missionary I feel that I have definately been polished and able to more fully help these individuals we work with.
Here in Runcorn the ward functions pretty well, we have a reach out night every week with the missionaries where two different Priesthood holders go out on Exchanges with us. It shows a really willingness and motivation to bring those who have perhaps been lost back to the light of the gospel, we had a few people attend this sunday as a consequent visit from these efforts. Yesterday was also another very good day, we had a "missionary themed sacrament meeting" where Elder Corbin and myself gave a talk aswell as our Ward Mission Leader, we got the ward fired up for missionary work, the great thing is that the missionaries previous had Bicycles but now it is the Zone Leader area, so we get to travel out to areas where they couldn't get out to, we were working out in the Countryside this week, it was so pretty and also of people stopped to talk, much different to normal cities/ towns where people are caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping and distractions.
I had a little bit of an epitome this week; a mission does not change a person; a person changes a person but a mission helps to do that. I was thinking about who I was becoming, a lot of others would say someone that was the polar opposite of who I was when I came out on a mission. I wouldn't know what to say but, I don't think what I was and who I am now are comparable. Change, it's a funny principle.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden

Monday, 7 January 2013

Weekly Update 07 January 2013

Runcorn is quite the interesting place. I've grown to love it. It is very different to Chester, it is known to be one of the more Rowdy areas in the mission, but I embrace it with open arms. Life seems to be a bit more stressful, moving into a new area with no investigators, getting used to the area and the conditions. In Runcorn we have to budget our electricity/ water and gas. I've never been in a flat that we have to do this, it teaches me a lot of life skills. I've never dealt withi things like this before and I never thought I would have to. I'm sure I'll get used to it but it is a very unique experience.
We had a great week in terms of missionary work, we Baptised! We travelled back to Chester for Saturday, we had a great time their trying to pick up and organise the Baptism because we weren't the missionaries responsible for the area, but it needed to be done. Life is good! Success is very hard to gauge sometimes, especially as a missionary. The Runcorn ward are very excited to have us. It seems that in every prayer uttered on Sunday in that Chapel mentioned us, many of the testimonies were centered around missionary work, our introduction to the ward was very exciting and thrilling. They even invited us to talk in Sacrament meeting this Sunday. Someone even got up to bear there testimony on how they needed to feed the missionaries more. I love this ward... and consequently we have a full week of Tea- appointments, I really haven't had a full week of Tea appointments since St. Helens. By the way St. Helens is only about 5 miles away, so it is very close within the whole Liverpool area. Logically I think that anything that gets closer to Liverpool is naturally better.
Transfers have filled the Chester Zone with Life, I love the missionaries that are in the Zone and we are gathering together on Tuesday, I'm really excited, we had an increase in Sister missionaries, which was amazing because they always bring a great spirit and a new increase in faith, they always teach a lot. We haven't got chased down the road by any hooligans so my luck seems to be proving well so far.
With Love,
Elder Sapaden

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Weekly Update 03 January 2013

Well, No one would have thought I would be bouncing around the mission this fast. I've been have too many 6 week areas. Now I am in Runcorn, it is a good place. It is by the River Mersey again. I have spent so much time in these Liverpool areas. This mission thing is going so quick. I am back in England again it is a good feeling. What was pretty funny is I went on exchanges with another mission to Runcorn just before transfers happened and I wanted to serve here, I was with another missionary visiting some of their investigators and members. I loved it, when we found out I was moving to Runcorn I was actually in Runcorn still.
I really do miss Chester, we had a few baptisms lined up but that is okay, the great thing is Sister Missionaries took us out of Chester and there are Sisters in Chester currently. We had an extremely good new year in Chester, we spent time with some great members. My favourite part was having Japanese food on New Years eve. It was quite a new experience and I loved it. I'm sad to say bye to the Chester ward, especially the members, they were amazing. It was good just being around them. I have a new Disney favourite, it's called Tangled, best film ever. Watching films on New Years was weird, it was like a million years since I've seen any films. My companion and I seemed to laugh at anything and everything... you could definately tell it has been a while.
Driving yesterday was crazy, we are Whitewashing, so we had to move all our stuff and clean our flat super nice because Sister Missionaries were coming in we had driven about 200 miles yesterday, it was really intense doing all that driving.
Well... I'll be e-mailing on Monday again. but just a piece of information the address for the Mission Office has changed:
England Manchester Mission
Springwood, Suite G5,
Chelford Road,
Knutsford, Cheshire,
WA16 8GS
With Love,
Elder Sapaden