Monday, January 25, 2016


Hey everybody! Another week gone already??
      A really good week over here! It got soooo cold this week. Not a "Utah cold" but a bitter "humid Korea cold" that we've been working through. We've been seeing some miracles all week long as we baptized one of our sister's investigators, and had another one of our investigators commit to baptism for this week! We're seeing so many miracles it's been such a blessing.
      Yesterday I was sitting in church, on the verge of falling asleep trying to listen to our teacher speak, when a man reached out and grabbed my hand. In Korea, it's not weird even if I don't like it (; He started pointing to all the scars that are on my hand. The scars that I had from baseball, football, and asked how they had happened. I explained them the best I could in broken Korean of how they happened. It's funny how I could  remember them all distinctly. I remember all the scars, the pain I felt in getting them. I remember looking at the rest of the scars I had. My knees from sliding in baseball, my hips from diving in the outfield, my sunken-in chest where my top rib is missing after my blood clot. I couldn't help but laugh at these scars and know that each one tells a distinct story. Just like my scars and the pain and story of how I came to get them, Christ remembers distinctly how He got His.
      I've studied the Atonement so distinctly during my mission, and I can't begin to comprehend what our Savior went through. Performing the Atonement where He sweat blood from every single pore. Being beaten, scourged, and then having nails pounded through His hands and feet. I feel a deep and sincere emotion when I think of it. As I partake of the sacrament, I can't help but picturing myself sitting at the Savior's feet, wetting His feet with my tears in gratitude. Having the opportunity to feel the prints in His hands, wrists, and feet. I can only imagine what that will be like.
      Christ made the decision to retain His scars. People wonder why Christ has His scars if we're suppose to be "perfect, ressurected beings" after we die. He keeps them to show everyone that He is Christ. He retains those scars in remembrance of us. We are literally engraved in His hands. When He looks at the scars that He has, He sees you personally. Like I can remember the pain I went through to get my scars, and exactly how they happened, He too, remembers exactly why it happened. Because of the love He has for us that we can't comprehend, He retains those scars to show us that He is the light of the world, the Son of God, and our Redeemer. That He overcame death so we wouldn't have to suffer even as He did.
      I testify of Jesus Christ. He is the living son of the living God. He loves us. He knows us personally. He answers our prayers and gives us comfort when we think we can't go any further. He is the perfect example. Only through Him can we return to the Father. He suffered for us, bled for us, and died for us. I've never been more sure of that in my life. I love my Savior with a deep devotion. I adore Him, and am so grateful that I get to serve Him every single day. I know He lives.
      Thanks everybody for the love and support! I miss you guys terribly and am so thankful for all that you guys do for me. I can never thank you enough. Love ya'll talk to ya next week!

Elder Roper

Monday, January 18, 2016

May We All Be As Little Children

     "Tyson, we need to practice just one more time." I looked at my little sister Haidyn, who had a glow in her bright eyes that words can't explain. It was the day of her baptism, and she was so excited that she was going to be baptized. She was scared, happy, excited... every emotion that a little girl could be feeling. For what seemed to be the millioneth time, I grabbed her wrist, and pretended to baptize her again. I'll never forget the emotions of that day. Seeing my beautiful little sister walk down the stairs into the font, dressed purely in white. I remember seeing the joy in her eyes and I took her wrist and stated, with my heart pounding, "Haidyn Dawn Roper, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." I put her underneath the water, and pulled her up.  She came up pure, perfect. She was as perfect as Jesus Christ Himself. By far the closest I'll ever be to perfection. I led her out of the font, and went into the dressing room, where I began to weep. The feeling of the spirit overwhelmed me in ways that I'll never be able to understand. Love, joy, happiness, peace.... everything. The exact same feeling that I felt as I baptized my very first convert in Korea just yesterday.
      My investigator, dressed in pure white, being led into the font for baptism brought me the peace that this gospel is truly about. He looked as a little child as he took upon him the name of Jesus Christ. The tears welled in my eyes as I was able to watch this man come out of the font, as perfect as Christ Himself. The smile on his face was enough to know that every single thing I've went through in Korea, and to get here, has been worth every minute. Worth every trial, struggle, and everything else. Seven months later, I can finally say I gave someone the wonderful privilege of receiving an eternal ordinance.
      The one common thing of both baptisms that I've been able to witness of both my little sister, and my first convert, was the joy that was shining in their eyes. Christ Himself taught that we need to be as little children. Full of laughter, full of joy, full of hope, and trust in everything around us. No less, little kids always have crying fits right?? But minutes later, they're ready to go and try again. They're always willing to try. They have no fear. They are truly perfect, despite all that they do. May we all be as little children in our lives. I remember the countenance I felt as I baptized Haid. I remember the feeling as I watched my investigator be baptized. It's the countenance of being a child. Always full of hope, ready to take on the world, and despite failing, maybe a scraped knee, or a cut, get back up, and keep going.
      I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I'm so grateful I've been able to have the gospel in my life. I love this gospel more than words can truly describe. As we turn to Christ, He lifts us to new heights, makes us stronger and better than ever before. He lives, and He knows us all personally. I love my Savior and I know of the reality of His Atonement, suffering, and things that He went through for us. I know He's there, and I know He loves every single one of His children.
      I love you all and can't thank you enough. Thanks for all the love, support, prayers, and everything. It truly means the world. Thanks for everything can't wait for next week! Love ya'll!

Elder Roper

Monday, January 4, 2016

Piece By Piece

Hey everybody! Happy New Year's!
     This week I spent my first week in a new area! Being honest, by far one of the hardest weeks I've had in my mission. One thing about life is that there's always change. And as I've changed areas, people, and everything, it's been a hard change. No less, with the New Year coming, everyone is talking about "goals" and "resolutions" and "change" and I'm stuck on what I'm trying to be. I'm wondering what more I can do to be a better missionary in 2016. But more than looking ahead, I decided to look back on 2015. In 2015, there were so many things I learned about life that has prepared me to this point. So today I want to talk about the greatest tender mercy I received in 2015, months before I entered the MTC, and how one person changed my life, gave me hope, and has given me the hope to keep pushing forward even when the times are hard.
      I just barely walked into the hotel room and laid my stuff down. I was completely exhausted. I had played baseball all day long, and couldn't wait to just relax. Not having been in the room for thirty seconds, a knock came on the hotel room door. I opened it to find my little buddy, Broc Jacobsen, standing at our door, soaking wet. With sincere love, and a smile I'll never forget, he asked, "Tyson, do you want to come swimming with me?" At first I was surprised. I really wanted to say, "I can't, I'm super tired, I have to pitch tomorrow, and I need to relax." However, with the love I had for this little boy, all I could simply say with pure love in my heart was, "Yeah I'd love to. I'll be right there!"
      Me and Broc spent the whole night swimming together. It was a night that I will never forget. The joy that filled my heart as I spent the time with a kid that meant the world to me. After, we went back to his hotel room, where he was so excited to show me the legos that he had bought that day. For hours, we spent the time building legos, and talking with his dad, Landon. Broc would always turn to me and ask after he had put a few pieces on, "How does this look?" I would look at the instructions, and we would build it together. Sometimes we put pieces in the wrong places, took them off, rebuilt, and kept going, until we had this perfectly built lego figure. The joy and satisfaction that came from finishing it with little Broc can't be described. A night that I will never forget. When I walked out of the room that night, I didn't know it would be one of the last times I saw little Broc. However, he taught me a lesson of a lifetime that night as we built those legos. And although he's not here now, on days when I can't go any farther, I remember Broc and the lesson he taught me that night.
      Every single one of us is like legos. We're all given instructions from a loving Heavenly Father to follow. The instructions are so clear and obvious, yet sometimes we make mistakes. Often, we have to take the pieces off and do it again and again until we get it right. We keep following the instructions, building piece by piece until we have this perfect figure in our hands. There's only one difference though. In this life, we're the legos being built by the hands of our Father in Heaven. He's starting from scratch, building us piece by piece, taking pieces off, and rebuilding, until He gets us absolutely perfect. We're truly being built in the loving hands of our Father in Heaven.
      Little Broc taught me that I'm a work in progress. Despite how hard a mission is, I have to remember that sometimes I have to take pieces off in order to rebuild. He taught me that I can be happy no matter what I'm doing. He taught me to be grateful. How I've thought of him and this lesson he taught. As this new year approaches, I see me and little Broc building legos, knowing I'm still in the building process for the new year that's here. How grateful I am to be a missionary and to be changing each and every day.
      I love this gospel with all my heart. I know Christ guides every step I take. Even though I don't know where I'm stepping, I know He's there. I love my Savior, I love this gospel, and I'm grateful to be a missionary. This year, may we all be as legos. May we all realize the perfecting process of becoming like Christ as He builds us up, no matter what we face.
      I love you all . I miss you all and I'm so grateful for everything. From the bottom of my heart I say thanks. Love you guys can't wait for next week!
Elder Roper