Sunday, September 13, 2015

Faith Never Abandons

Hey everybody!
            Another week is already gone?? They're already passing so fast here! This week in Korea was my best so far. I'm finally starting to figure this out a little bit (; I can stomach the food without dry heaving, my chopstick skills are getting a little better, I'm still awful at the language but I'm getting a little bit better day by day! However, I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable. This is definitely the happiest I've been since I landed here in Korea. The work is progressing, and I'm starting to see what being a missionary is truly all about. 
            My week started out about as perfect as it possibly could have. A navy seal from the base here in Jinhae asked us to go hiking with him, and me and Elder Schwarze jumped at the opportunity. It was such an incredible day. However, for being nearly fifty years old, this man was insane getting up and down the mountain... There's a reason I'm a missionary, not chilling in the army (; The view from the top of the mountain was so beautiful. It made me miss home more than anything. Although, it made this place feel so much more like home. It may not be the mountains of Utah, but until that day, I'll love this area. Right now, Korea is starting to gain my heart. Whether the people, the area, or other things, I'm starting to truly have a love for this place. The other day I showed a man my photo album. He looked at the pictures of the mountains, all the hunting I did, and he had a look of amazement on his face. He looked at me and said, "Elder Roper, I envy you." I sat there and thought to myself in a non-prideful way. "What's not to envy? We truly live in the best place in the world." I'll never take for granted the small joys of home again. And more importantly, as I stay in Korea, I'll never take for granted the things that are only temporary. I'll enjoy and cherish every moment I have here.
            This week as I've started to adapt, the thoughts of the gospel began to flood my head. I couldn't help but think of how this has been the most difficult few months of my life. I've shed more tears than ever, I've grown close to people, I've felt abandoned, and at times... I've never felt so happy. It's been a roller coaster of emotion as I've adapted to my mission. This week as I sat in prayer and studying my scriptures, I realized the lesson of the first three months. I found out that the Doctrine of Christ is the Doctrine of Change. Over the last three months, my life has been turned upside down in ways I never thought it would have. I've experienced more heartache than words can describe, but I've experienced the miracle of the gospel. In three months I've changed as a person. Each day is a new day to change and become a better person, and disciple of Christ. If we aren't changing, we aren't doing something right. Although right now I'm serving a mission, and try to live like Christ, I find so many weaknesses in myself. The reason for the gospel is truly change. Change every single day. Have the humility to find your weakness and make them become strong through the grace and the atonement of our Savior. Through His eternal sacrifice, we can become perfect even as He is. This has summed up the first three months for me. I want to be perfect, but I find myself having doubts as I make mistakes. Am I good enough? Can I truly do this? Am I suppose to be here? I know without a doubt, that I am. With the entire sincerity of my heart, I know that Christ makes the all the difference. 
            I love this gospel. I've never been so close to Christ and to the spirit. He guides and leads me through every single day. Without Him, I couldn't do this. I love Korea, and especially the people. They are so sincere. We're all God's children. I testify of the power of true and unwavering faith. Never doubt in the Savior. Faith will guide you when life is at its hardest. It never abandons. I'm so grateful for the support. I love you all and hope you all know you mean the world to me. Along with my favorite place in the world come my favorite people. Thank you so much. I'm eternally grateful. Can't wait to talk to you all next week! Love you guys!

Love Elder Roper


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