Monday, August 31, 2015

Changwon Jinhae

Hey everyone!
        I made it! I'm finally here! Haha I can say it's been the longest week of my life. I went from the comfort of the MTC and doing really well, to a whole new world that is literally half way around the world. It all started with the longest flight I could ever imagine. Twelve hours on a plane was a rough task, especially when the sun didn't go down. We arrived in Seoul and found that our luggage had been lost.... go figure right??  It showed up two days later in the mission field. We spent the night in Seoul before heading to the mission home in Busan, where our mission got started right away. We were set up with a trainer and we headed out the next morning to our new areas. I've been assigned with Elder Schwarze in the area of Changwon Jinhae. It's a beautiful city that's really close to the ocean. I'm super excited to be serving here. I know that people are waiting for me to deliver the gospel. We're having to "white wash" the area, meaning there are no investigators. We're starting from ground zero. But I can't wait to see where we're at in a few months from here.
        I'll start with a funny story real quick... Last night we happened to be tracting an area where we saw a young teenager sitting on a bench. Me and my companion went and took a seat next to the person and realized something. We're only supposed to tract other men, not women in any way, shape or form. Well... the person talked, and it kind of turned out to be a girl... Whoops (; We quickly walked away after a  quick discussion and gave each other the look of like, "oh crap what did we just do look." My companion looked at me and said, "I was one hundred percent sure that was a guy." Oh well right (;
        I can say that this week has been one of the most difficult of my mission, if not my life. I've never been thrown into a situation like this. However, I've grown so much in a week. I quickly learned that this isn't Utah anymore (; I went from a city of a few thousand, to a city of a few million. I went from always being sure of what I'd eat, or what my plans were, to now wondering if I'll like the next meal, or how I'm going to get home. However, as my faith guides and directs me, I learn to rely on the Savior. My prayers are sincere, if not always emotional because I always need to talk with my Heavenly Father so deeply. My scripture study is so powerful because I feel like everything applies to me. It's truly been an incredible week. As I've been thrown into a new life, the Savior is guiding and leading me through each and every day. I know the Savior is aware of me and all that I'm doing.
        Everything I've heard about Korea has been true concerning the people. The people are so genuine to us. They're so humble and willing to help us. I had the opportunity to attend stake conference and meet the entire stake. What incredible people. I'm coming to love them so much as I'm around them more. The lesson I learned this week is that whether I'm back home in Ferron in my home ward, or half way across the world... the church is the same. It's still true, and it's still built upon the same principles and love of Jesus Christ. We're all children of God. I know that's true. He's aware of every single one of us. I'm so grateful to be a missionary, because I'm so close to the Savior and His teachings, and the people He loves and watches out for.
        I love my mission. Although it's a whole new place, and a whole new culture, I love the work and I love serving and helping people. I know that as I continue to work through the difficulty of it, I'll find my reason to be here. I know that Jesus Christ walked the loneliest path that anyone has ever had to take so He could help me in situations like this. I know He lives, and that He knows us personally and without end. He atoned for us. He took our burdens upon Him so He could see us through everything. I'm so grateful for that. I truly love this gospel.
        Thanks everyone for the constant support and love. I'm so grateful for it. I've got the greatest support. Love you guys! Can't wait to talk next week!

Love, Elder Roper

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