Monday, September 7, 2015

This Isn't For Me....It's For My Savior

Hey everybody!
      I survived another week here (; It's easy to say that this week was a lot better than the first! I'm starting to adjust to the missionary work, the people, and the culture. It's still hard, but what do you expect from a white kid six thousand miles from home? (; So I'll start off with my "culture shock" story of the week... This week we had to go to a Korean funeral. It was definitely a little different but anyway.... We get there and they have these big huge feasts. I had just barely ate when they called us to come. Thinking it would be a new experience, the missionaries decided to go. We got there and sat down around the table by all the members. First thing's first, I get laughed at because I can't use chopsticks, and then I get mocked because I'm not flexible enough to sit on the floor... the common American struggle (; So I get sat down and start eating this nasty soup stuff thinking this is the nastiest thing I've ever tasted. I'm dry heaving in between bites trying to pretend I like it. The Korean culture is you have to finish all your rice, which is always a struggle for me still (; but trying to avoid the rice, I started eating the other stuff.... I ate squid, intestines, lung.... I accidentally ate coffee beans (; It was a crazy night. The culture is still one thing I'm trying to get use to. I'm doing a lot better though each and every day.
      This week I also had to give my first talk in sacrament. As missionaries, we introduce ourselves to the ward we'll be serving in. I got up there not really nervous because speaking is one of my favorite things to do. Speaking in Korean is a different story, however. For the first time in over two weeks, I bore testimony of the gospel. I bore testimony in a language I barely knew of how much I loved my Savior, my family, and how grateful I was. As the tears ran down my face, I couldn't help but be so grateful. Whether speaking in my own ward, or a ward in Jinhae, I felt the spirit testify through me of the truthfulness of this gospel. Words can't describe the feelings of emotion that I had. I know it's true.
      This week we still have no investigators and the work is really slow. We're working our guts out to find people, but for some reason it just hasn't been happening. It's been frustrating for sure. I still struggle with the language, and it's hard to step out of my comfort zone, but I'm striving to be better. This week I sat here and wondered what I could do to be better. What could I do to get in my happy place as a missionary? I realized quickly how selfish I was. I've been in Korea wondering how could I help myself? How could I do this and that for me? Well... I realized this mission isn't for me. I didn't come on a mission for myself. I came here to help people and bring souls unto Christ. I realized if I'm going to be happy, I have to forget myself and focus on others. I'm still working on that a lot. This isn't for me, it's for my Savior, and His children. Missionary work is a matter of turning outwards. Like missionary work, we can all turn outward to others. Never focus on the "I" or the "Me". As we do so, we'll find a greater love and happiness in every single thing we do. I'm learning that little by little as I serve.  
      I'm so grateful to be here. I'm grateful to a missionary at this time. This still continues to be the hardest thing I've ever done, but I'm learning each and every day. I'm working to become what the Savior needs me to be. I wish it was instant, but it's not. I know that through these trials and struggles I face, I'll be so much better. Thanks so much for the constant love and support. It truly means the world to me. I wouldn't be able to do this without the constant support, love and prayers I feel in my life. I know it's true. I know Christ lives. He's here for us always. He'll carry our burdens and lead us through all we'll face. I know He is our Savior.
      Thanks again everyone! I love you all and I'm so grateful for every single one of you! Talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Roper
Tyson finally got him a Big Mac!

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