Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bridle Your Passions

Hey everyone!
            Been another great week! I can't believe I hit the one-month mark already. It's been the most beneficial month of my life. There's not another place that would benefit me more. If I were to come home today, I'd come home a lot bigger and better person than when I left... but hey.... I only got twenty-three more months (; 
            I don't have any funny stories this week but I like to think that's a good thing (; That means I haven't completely made a fool of myself right? But everything is progressing so quickly. The language is coming very clearly to me right now. This week I finally could give a testimony guided completely by the spirit. I always get emotional when bearing testimony. It's the greatest feeling knowing I can give a testimony in Korean, and the words just flow out because of what I'm feeling.  Words can't describe what I feel knowing the Savior leads and guides me through everything here.
            This week there were so many spiritual moments. There always are. But the thing I want to share you guys today comes from my own personal study. Every single morning I study the Book of Mormon for an hour. I've never had a sure testimony until I came here. I thought I had one until I started studying out every single thing I could. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon. In Alma 38:12, the scripture says..."and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love." I read this passage and I couldn't figure it out. I said a silent prayer because I knew it applied to me. What passions do I need to put aside, and what love will I receive? When I think of passions, I think of things we love. The things we care about most. But as I thought about it, I realized that "passions" were the things holding me back.  The things that keep me from progressing. Even though every single day here is committed to the Savior, I have things that slow me down or take my mind off the work. I need to put aside my fears, my worries, my concerns, and truly "bridle my passions" so I can feel love. And most importantly, that is the love of the the Savior. In short, we must put aside anything that keeps us from progressing. It was a lesson to me that there's always room for my improvement. I know every single one of us has "passions" that hold us back. I know with the entire sincerity of my heart if we put aside all those things, we'll truly come to love the gospel in its fullness. 
            This week I also got to go the temple for the very first time since being here. Wow, I love the temple. I'm looking forward to going again today. As I sat in the temple I couldn't help but think of the time I was sealed with my family two years ago and made eternal. I think of my sister Whitney and feel so happy at the thought of her being married there in just over two weeks so her new family will always be eternal. Even though I won't be there, I have that peace knowing that only through this gospel can families be together forever. I have such a testimony of temples. I have such a witness of eternal families and how crucial they are. That family is the most important thing on this earth and in the eternities. If there's one thing I've learned here, it's how much family impacts us in everything. That through my family's example, other families, and more, I too look forward to the blessings of eternity in the temple when I get home. I love this gospel and I know more than ever now that it's true. It's truly perfect. I'm so grateful that I diligently get to serve the Savior every single day. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I've never been so happy in my life. Only here can you experience that true joy. I love you all. I appreciate the prayers, the support, the letters, and emails. They make everything worth it. Thanks for everything so much! Can't wait to talk next week!

Love, Elder Roper

Elder Jenkins from Manti and Elder Roper

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