Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Look At the Big Picture

Hey everybody!
      What a crazy week! This week had a couple of neat experiences. First, I had to sing a solo this week in a stake choir meeting. And if any of you know me at all... I can't sing. But it was quite the experience (; Second, all the Korean people think I look like Liam Neeson... although he's like sixty (; Yesterday a member got up, and translated to english said, "I'm grateful to have Elder Liam Neeson in the crowd today to listen to my talk." It seems like my new name is Elder Neeson! Haha
      This week it seemed like the missionary work took a tumble. We have lots of investigators that just won't progress and won't have that change of heart. It seems that the harder we try, the harder it's getting. But I know that as we keep working, we'll find those who are ready to accept the gospel. We simply have to keep the faith and hope that we can find and baptize.
      This week I couldn't help but have a "one year ago today" memory. One year ago I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to play in the state championship basketball game. I remember the atmosphere, the excitement, the ups, and downs. I remember it so distinctly. I remember the enthusiasm thinking we were going to win, and the heartbreak that came as we lost. Words can’t describe the emotions of playing in that one basketball game that ended my career. However, as I look back at the loss, I see a bigger picture that I've had to realize.
      Last year, before the championship game, amidst all the excitement, I recognized the importance of those things that are eternal. As I sat before the game last year, a nervous wreck, I remember a few instances. One, I remember little Broc Jacobsen coming and sitting at my side before the game, happy as could be, without a care in the world, except for the basketball game. Just happy that he was there. I remember my Grandpa DeLoy coming down and telling me where he'd be sitting, and that him and my Grandma LaNae would be up there supporting me. I remember looking at my dad, anxious that his only son was playing in the state championship game.
      The game ended in a loss, and I remember going to greet my parents. I remember the tears came to my eyes as I embranced em all. My parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, coaches, support, and everyone else. It was that moment that I realize that this life is more important than points scored, games won, home runs hits, and trophies on the shelf. This life is about those things that are eternal. It's about the people around us, and the things we're doing to better ourselves. It's about always progressing and seeing a greater view. My dad has always said to me, "Tys, look at the big picture." That night as I walked off the court, the big picture was that we all have eternity surrounding us in all that we do. The big picture is that we have so much to be grateful for if we'll simply look for it. I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've had that have allowed me to see that.
      This gospel is eternal. This life is nothing but a stepping stone into a eternity that's too great for us to even comprehend. Everything we do, and everything we learn goes into eternity with us. I know that as we look at "the big picture" our faith, our hopes, our dreams, and the trials we face will carry us into the next life a bigger, stronger, and better person, to be as Christ would have us. I love this gospel and testify of its reality. It's true. I testify of that.
      I love you all and miss you dearly. I'm so grateful for all that you guys do for me. Thanks so much from the sincerity of my heart. Talk to ya soon!

Elder Roper

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