Thursday, August 13, 2015

Remember The Promises

Hey everyone!
     Seems like the weeks pass so fast here!  This week was another incredible week. We're only a week and half from leaving. It's starting to become a lot more real to us all. We have so much more to learn and try to comprehend. We know we have a long ways to go, but we're all so excited this week to go. This week I also got to see Elder and Sister Whittle from my home ward. It made my week! There's nothing better than seeing those people who have always supported you through everything. So appreciative of their example here. Even here, they continue to be a huge support and inspiration for me. However, I still think it's unfair that they'll leave here before I will (; 
     When I was a little kid, I loved to play with dinosaurs. I wasn't into cars, or superheroes, or even action figures. I would sit down in my room for hours and play with my dinosaurs. Well... in fact, my one dinosaur. Despite the hundreds I had, there was one I played with through everything. For years, I beat this thing to death. So much, that it eventually lost both its arms, both its legs, its head, and well... its tail fell off too. After years there was nothing left of it, and I eventually learned to move on. Even now, ten years later, it still holds a special place in my heart, because it truly explains my childhood. It meant the world to me as a little kid. This week I found someone who can share a similar experience. 
     10:30 rolled around on Monday night and we said our prayers and were getting ready to turn out the light, when a knock came on our door. It was another missionary saying that we we'd be getting a new roommate for the night, and that he spoke very little English.  We were excited to have him, and he came into our room a few minutes later. Jet-lagged, exhausted, and having traveled from Korea during the day, the Elder was hungry and didn't have any food with him. Having a big huge stash of food (thanks mom) I reached into my drawers and grabbed him some and handed it to him. He seemed excited and before taking the food, he ran to his bag and pulled out a small plastic boar pig and brought it back. I didn't know what in the world he was doing. He came over and asked if I wanted it. Not sure what it was, and not wanting "payment" for the food, I told him he could keep it. He looked at me and said, "No, I want you to have it." I said okay and took the small plastic boar pig. As the night went on, I realized the true important of that small $0.50 pig. 
     The Elder told us of his conversion story. A recent convert to the church, baptized only in February. He used to be heavy into drinking and smoking. One day the missionaries knocked on his door and began to teach the lessons. He loved it. However, the word of wisdom problems continued to hold him back. The missionaries, trying to help the young man, made him a promise. They bought him a small plastic dinosaur and told the missionary. "I want you to carry this dinosaur with you all the time. Whenever you think of drinking, or smoking, look at this dinosaur and remember the promise you kept." The Elder did so, and he kept his promise. He was then baptized soon after. Because of his story and his conversion, the Elder decided to try and touch others lives. He came to America with one thousand plastic figurines in his suitcase. His plan? He intends to hand out every single one to those who influence him the most, and to those he teaches so they can remember their promises to their Savior. After hearing that, I knew that small, plastic pig would be carried with me throughout the remainder of my mission as a reminder of the promises I'm keeping to my Savior, Jesus Christ.
     In Alma 37:41, it states, "Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works." A small means such as a plastic dinosaur was the cause for one of God's children to receive the gospel. What an incredible and powerful testimony of this gospel. Six months ago, this elder was struggle to be baptized. Now, here he is, six thousand miles away from, with a very small and simple testimony, ready to teach those people who are prepared to come unto Christ. I know faith is the foundation of our testimony. By small things, great things truly do come to pass. For the love I had for my dinosaur when I was a little kid, to the love I know have for a small dinosaur that brought a soul to our Savior. May we act upon the small and simple things in our life. They truly bring about miracles. As a missionary, I get to see them every single day. Have faith in your testimony, and in the knowledge you have received. Faith builds our foundation, so we can all prepare our own personal mansion in the Kingdom of God. Whether through a small seed as Alma states, or through a small plastic dinosaur, have faith to do miracles. Have the faith to astonish someone. Have the faith to follow our Savior's example. 
     I love this gospel and and I have such a love for missionary work. I have for those I get to serve around me. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I know my Savior lives. Jesus is the Christ. I'm so grateful I've come to find that out as I'm trying to develop my faith. Thanks for the support I love you all! I'm so grateful for everything. I will never be able to thank all of you enough.

Love, Elder Roper

Elder Roper's sister got married and although he couldn't be there, he was there in spirit

Congrats to Whitney & Chance!

Elder Roper rockin his groomsmen outfit.  Thanks for the tie Mary!

Best looking groomsman around!

Remember the promise you kept

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