Sunday, November 22, 2015

We Have Everything

Hey everybody! Another stinkin' week... already gone?!?
      It's Thanksgiving this week! Ahhh! Doesn't seem like it here... there ain't a turkey in sight (; But the thought and spirit of the holiday has weighed on my mind a lot since I won't be sharing it with my family. I've had my eyes opened to an entire new view of "Thanksgiving."
      A year before I left on my mission, I sat in the mountains near Ferron Reservoir with my Grandpa Dale. He's one of the greatest role models in my life. I truly love that man more than words can describe. As we sat in the late summer night, sitting beneath thousands of stars, talking about life, family, love, hunting, and everything that came into our minds, he said something that has stuck with me for over a year. As the conversation rolled into gratitude and appreciation, my Grandpa Dale simply said, "We don't have much, but we have everything." A lesson of a lifetime from a man I truly love. A lesson that I will always carry with me whenever I forget the small blessings that Heavenly Father has given me.   
      You guys all might realize that I don't talk a whole ton about the investigators I have. It's because I don't have many! (; But I'll tell you what... I've come to have such a great, and powerful love for every single one I do have. I'm so grateful that I have investigators to teach this gospel to. We only have one truly progressing investigator. I extended him a baptismal commitment yesterday and he says that he wants to be baptized, but he's scared of what people will think. This man has went through a lot of trial and struggle in his life, but his words ring clear to me despite his fears, and struggles in his life when he said, "Elder Roper, I'm grateful that God has sent you Elders to me. He knew that I needed you right now." 
      The gift of gratitude is of the noblest of virtues. It's something that's truly noble because it helps us to realize the hand of Christ in our lives. It helps us to realize that we have someone who is constantly guiding and directing our ways. That despite all the constant changes and hardships that comes in our lives, we can fill our hearts will gratitude. We show gratitude by following Christ, emulating His example, and obeying the teachings that He's given us. By doing so, we give Him the divine gift of gratitude. There will always be opposition, but when we choose to focus on the positive things, we see life as Christ would have us see. 
      I've had to learn gratitude in the mission field, and it's been so difficult at times. Instead of saying, "Dang, I only have rice to eat today," instead I say, "I'm glad I have this rice so generously offered by the members to feed us." Instead of saying, "Wow, I work hard and I have only one progressing investigator," I can say "Wow, I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has placed this man in my paths to teach." It's been sooo hard for me to do, but I've had to do it so I could see Christ's hand in my life in everything that I'm doing. 
      My Grandpa Dale's phrase has led to being grateful for all that I've been given. His lesson which helped me to progress has pushed me to know that, "We don't have much, but with God... we have everything." 
      I testify of Christ and His love for every single one of us. His hand is evident in our lives if we'll just simply look for it. In the spirit of "Thanksgiving", whether in Korea, or the United States, may we recognize the true spirit of gratitude in all that we do. By doing so, we open the door to Christ in our lives. I love my Savior more than words describe. I know He lives.
      I love you all and am sooo grateful for the support, love and help you give me. Thanks so much for everything. Love you all and can't wait to write next week! Talk to ya'll soon can't wait!

Elder Roper


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