Thursday, July 30, 2015

Prayer Is Like A Flashlight

Hey everyone!
            It was another great week! I've been here over a month, and in a few days we'll be the oldest district in the MTC. We're considered the "veterans" after being in here this long! In only a few weeks I'll be headed to Korea! Am I prepared for it??? Probably not haha, but I'm so excited to finally use everything I've been preparing for. 
            This week was just so great. I honestly can't say enough about how much I love being here, and how happy I am to be serving.  I was released as District Leader and then called to be Zone Leader. I'm continuing to learn so much. The language is just coming so quickly for me....well at least here. Once I make it Korea, I'll probably realize I don't know anything (; However, I've realized that whenever I work hard, the Lord makes up the difference in my lack of language knowledge. Through the spirit, there's not a thing that we can't accomplish. 
            This week I was able to give my first priesthood blessing. A sister in my district asked if I could give her a blessing of comfort. I had never done one before, and it was one of the neatest things I've been able to do. Through all the sports I've played, I don't think I've ever been so nervous. My heart was completely pounding out of my chest as I got to exercise the Melchizedek Priesthood for the first time. It's definitely something I'll always remember.
            The most spiritual message I received this week came from our devotional on Tuesday night. An emeritus general authority spoke to us about the power of prayer. As a missionary, we pray right around twenty times a day at least. And even then, it's still not enough it seems like. He talked about being casual in our prayers, and how that when we don't truly pray with a sincere heart, and with humility, we aren't exercising our faith as needed, and we're limiting ourselves to the blessings that we can receive. He talked about having a conversation with Heavenly Father, just like you're sitting with Him face to face. It made me think of a story I heard years ago in sacrament. I'll rephrase it in my own words as I can remember it. 
            There were two women who had been asked to watch over an elderly woman in her home. The woman, very old and feeble, was confined to her bed. The two women would go in every single day and proceed to do what had to be done for the old woman that they were serving. The first time they walked into the house, they noticed an old rocking chair sitting right next to the bed. Assuming it was in the way, they asked if they needed to move the chair. The old woman said, "No, Jesus sits in that chair every single day and we sit here and talk to each other for awhile." The two women didn't think much of it, and left the chair where it was.
            They continued going back each day and helping the elderly woman out. However, she began to slowly decline in health, and the two women knew it was only a matter of time before she passed away. They day came, when the two walked into the house, and the old woman had finally passed away. They looked at the old woman lying in her bed, and broke into tears as they saw that she had her head lying upon the edge of the rocking chair, as if she was leaning her head upon something. They knew that she had told Christ that she was ready to go in her daily conversation. It was her last comfort of this mortal life was to be contained within the arms of the Savior, Jesus Christ. 
            This story came to my mind as I sat through the devotional. I knew I was being casual in my prayers and I knew I needed to be better. I realized that I truly have to invite God into my life, and not get casual. A sincere prayer acts as a flashlight in the dark. It's the one thing that will always see through the darkness and the trials that we all must face in life. I know that's true, and I have a testimony of talking with my Heavenly Father each and every day. I know as we humble ourselves before Christ, we'll come to have a greater love for the Savior than ever before.
            I love this place, and I'm happier than ever. I'm continuing to grow and progress each and every day. I'm getting so excited as the days get closer when I'll soon be six thousand miles away in Korea. I'm more prepared than ever to serve the Lord's children and anyone else I can. Thanks for the constant support and love I get every week. Thanks for the prayers I feel the blessings in my life because of them. It means the world and I'm so grateful for everything. Love you guys! Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Roper

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