Helllloooo everybody! Another week gone... Another week flying by!
What a great week! Everything is going good here in Korea! Whether it's the fact that I can stomach the food, or I understand when people ask me where I come from, or anything else... this week seemed to get sooo much better (; To start you off with my funny story for the week, Koreans are soooo picky about food. They want to have the best food prepared. This week we're eating at a member's house for "Korean Thanksgiving" and the woman who prepared the food asked me a question. Did I have any idea what she was saying??? Nope... not a clue. So I just nodded my head and said, "Yes." My companion looked at me and said, "Elder Roper, you thought her food was gross?" The woman had actually asked me if I thought her cooking was bad. Not knowing what in the world she said, I just nodded my head, and with a smile on my face said, "Yes." Whoops...Maybe next time I'll understand... if not, I'll just keep nodding and hope yes is the correct answer!
This week was by far my best that I've had. I feel like I've finally climbed the steep part and am starting to level out. The culture is starting to grow on me, the language is coming rapidly, and I have a sincere love for the Korean people and everybody else around me. I wake up everyday happy, and anxious to start the day.
I hit my three month mark this week, and as I looked back, I couldn't help but think of how far I've come. In three months I've grown sooo much. Little things I thought I did well turned to weaknesses. The unwavering faith I thought I had ended up being weak. Things I thought I was good at... well, it turned out I wasn't. However, in three months, I've came so far, and I'm working to make myself become a lot better in those areas. As I've thought about this email, I couldn't help but think of how my transformation in Korea has been like the new Provo Town Center Temple that's currently being built. I thought about that temple a lot since I drove by it a month ago on my way to Korea, and thought of how Christ has used that temple as the perfect example of every single person.
The Provo Tabernacle was a beautiful building. You looked at it, and couldn't help but have a feeling of peace in your heart. However, the tabernacle caught on fire, and burned unexpectedly. It was seemingly destroyed. The only thing that remained within the tabernacle, was a picture of the Savior. The entire picture was burned, for the exception of the Savior Himself. What a miracle. The explanation of my first three months in the mission field are like the Provo Tabernacle. In the last three months, I've experienced heartache, pain, sickness, trial, and struggle. Like the tabernacle, that was my own personal "burning to the ground" for my life. I was utterly destroyed and devastated at times. I had been turned from a "tabernacle", to a pile of ashes. However, when the Savior is present, miracles take place. What was once a pile of ashes, a broken and abandoned building, is now being turned into a beacon for the world to see. It's now in transformation to become a House of God. What an incredible transformation. It's one that every single one of us has to make.
We're all "tabernacles" in one way or another. We're all servants of our Heavenly Father. We love our Savior. However, there are times in our lives when we are truly "burnt to the ground", burdened with the trials that life throws at us. However, that's exactly what we need in order to make our own personal transformation. He turns us from something beautiful, like a tabernacle, to something miraculous, and eternal, like the temple. When life throws struggles at you, and you feel burnt, or defeated, remember that the Savior sends His strongest servants the hardest tasks. Don't ask for an easy life, but pray to endure a hard one. I know we can all endure and make our own personal transformation into something beautiful and lasting. Like the only thing left in the tabernacle.... Christ is the answer. Let Him succor you and lead you through everything.
I know He lives. I know He guides the head of this church. He is our Savior, and Redeemer. Through Christ, everything is truly possible. How grateful I am for my Savior. I wouldn't be here without His help. I know with the entire sincerity of my heart that He atoned for me. He shed drops of blood for me. After, He made the lonely trek to Calvary, where He was crucified, and died for every single one of us in order to transform us. He did that for us. How grateful I am for that. I love my Savior.
Thanks so much everyone for everything. I love you all and I pray for you daily. I have the greatest support, halfway across the world. Thank you sooo much. Love you all talk to you next week. Can't wait!