Monday, April 25, 2016

His Will

Hey everybody!!!
      What a crazy week here for sure. Seeing so many miracles each and every day. This week our investigators couldn't attend church do to the hectic schedules they have here. However, we now have five investigators. Two weeks ago we didn't have any. We're seeing so many miracles, and we're teaching quite a lot. Well, when people will listen to us at least (; God is working miracles in our area. Pray that we can help these investigators progress and grow closer towards baptism. It's hard, but not impossible (;
      Two years ago, the words echoed in my ears and I wasn't sure if I had heard correctly. The doctor then repeated them, confirming my fears. "Tyson, you're shoulder is done. If I were you, I wouldn't step on the mound again. It's a miracle you've even made it this far." I couldn't believe it. Me and my dad were utterly shocked to say the least. In my heart, I knew he was right due to the pain I had been experiencing for quite some time. However, the initial shock was hard. I had lived my baseball career on the pitcher's mound. I wanted to stay there.
      We left the office that day and my initial thought was, "Well, I guess that's it. I'm done." I'll never forget my dad simply saying as we walked back to the car that day. "I guess we'll just have to work a little harder to get that shoulder in shape then, right?" I remember thinking it wasn't possible, and that I didn't want to do it. However, I love my dad. I knew one of his greatest joys was seeing his only son on the pitcher's mound, following in his footsteps. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I said, "Okay." I then started working my shoulder to get it back in shape, because I loved my dad, and I truly wanted to do the "will of my father" and do as he would have me do. I know that miracles do happen. Despite my lack of hope, and faith, and all I did to avoid it, my dad's motivation led me to come back, and eventually make my way back to the pitcher's mound, where I longed to be.
      As I love my dad, I love my Heavenly Father too. There are times when the odds are stacked against us in our lives, and voices that tell us we can't do this, or that. We're surrounded by them. But because we are willing to do the will of our Heavenly Father, we keep pushing forward. As Christ said in the Garden of Gethsemane. "Not my will, but thine be done," we must always realize that we're doing everything for a loving Heavenly Father who opens the gates for us to succeed, no matter how the odds are stacked against us. No matter what obstacles we face, it's His will, and because we love Him, we'll always keep going. I'm grateful that I get to follow His will each and every day.
      I love this work and I love being a missionary. Grateful to be in Korea at this time in my life. I know this is the Lord's work and the best thing we can be engaged in. I'm grateful for my Savior and His love that He so freely gives me to carry on each and every day. I love you all and appreciate you more than words will ever be able to describe. I have the best support and say thanks from the sincerity of my heart. Hope ya'll have a great week! Love ya'll!

Elder Roper

Monday, April 18, 2016

Korean Haircuts and Painted Nails

Helllloooo Everybody!!! Son of a gun... Another week gone...
          This week was so great. I want to tell you of a few changes that happened this week. This week I got my first sunburn, I ran a 5k, I got my fingernails painted in sacrament meeting by a little girl, got a Korean haircut (against my own decision) and had a man buy us some food simply because he loved Americans. And then lastly, the biggest change I experienced this week was that for the first time in four months, we had two investigators at church. It was the neatest experience to have them there. One was really overwhelmed never having went to church before, and the other we have a return appointment to meet with him. We're definitely seeing miracles right now. Keep your fingers crossed they'll keep progressing!
          This week I was thinking about home, and how around this time of year, the water is turned on. I was thinking about Millsite Reservoir and how people were always wondering if it was going to be full enough to provide water for the summer. In my life, we've experienced dry summers, wet summers, and everything in between. It's all according to if the reservoir is filled with enough water right?? This week I couldn't think about filling our own personal reservoirs.
          Like it takes a lot of water to provide for our little town, it takes a lot of "water" for us to bless those around us. We each have a personal reservoir in which we must fill with scripture study, service, sincere prayer, and with the pure love of Christ. There's been times when my reservoir has been dry. When it's dry, we can't spill over in order to help those around us. It's only when our reservoirs have plenty of water that we can truly bless those around us. We are in charge of filling our own personal reservoirs. We can never have too much water. It's amazing how a little bit of water, or in this case, spiritual enlightment, can bless those around us. May we always do the basics. May we always have a strong foundation in Jesus Christ as we fill our personal reservoirs each and every day with the things of the gospel. I know that as we do so, we can truly touch the lives of all those around us.
          This week I am grateful for miracles. Although I always feel inadequate to be doing what I'm doing, I see God's hand in the work. He's there and He hears my prayers, and answers them according to my faith. He blesses us and loves more than I can comprehend. He provides everything for me in the mission field, and to Him I hope to give everything so He can continue to bless me. I sure love my Savior more than words will ever describe.
          I love you all and miss you all dearly. I can't help but think of home and just be filled with pure gratitude for all that I've been blessed with. I love you all and thank you from the sincerity of my heart.

Elder Roper

Monday, April 11, 2016

Learning To Be As He Is

Hey everybody!!!
          What a great week. I got to watch conference a week late and I'm still floating on cloud nine a little bit from the spirit. I was so uplifted and inspired by their messages. We truly have a living prophet. We continued working hard this week and still have had no luck in finding any investigators. We're talking with everybody, testifying, and teaching, but nobody has any interest right now. Rejection, rejection, rejection.... This week it's got me thinking so much about Korea, the culture, the people. I sit here and wonder why in the world I was called to serve here on weeks like this. As I thought, reflected and pondered, I felt the answer was so clear to me.
          From the first day I came to Korea I stood out... Literally. My height, weight, skin, language... everything. I came and I didn't like the food. Rice, squid, intestines, liver, lung, raw fish, larvae, pig's feet... should I just stop there? (; I couldn't eat, or sleep on the tiny mat that was my bed. The language has proved to be harder than I ever thought. The people are soooo wonderful here, but they just seem to have no concern for the gospel. Referencing to scriptures, "everyone is perishing in unbelief." In a city of a couple hundred thousand... we have sixty members. I've thought about my mission, and Korean missionaries. In Korea, we're rejected, yelled at, swore at, smoked on, spit on, denied at eating places, and pushed away by nearly every person it seems like. I've sat here, and wondered the question, "Why?"
          At this point in my mission, I have a fire within me that's unreal and unexplainable. All I want to do is testify. We get rejected, but that's all I want to do. I think of Christ, and go and teach. I think of the mile that He walked for me, and for every single one of us. In Korea I will never go through what He did, but I feel that I've walked maybe a step or two. In Korea we are despised and rejected by men as He was.
          I've come to love every single thing that at first I didn't like at all. The food, which has given twenty five extra pounds (; The language is incredible, and it's incredible to speak with the Korean people in foreign tongues. The people, who are so kind and loving, are the reason why I tract for over twenty hours a week, talking with everyone. Every thing I didn't like at the start has proven to be the exact reason why I came. I'm learning through every single one of these lessons that God is putting in my path. The rejection, the rare success... I'm learning to be even as He is. As we all are, with each trial that we face.
          I'm grateful to be serving in the Korea Busan Mission. I love this mission. I love the people. I love the culture. I love everything about it. It's a miracle I'm here, and I know that I was foreordained to be serving these people. I know that it will all work together for my good if I work my hardest. I love this work, and I love my Savior. He lives. He is the living son of the living God, and our Redeemer. I testify that He loves us. I have felt that love when I never thought I could. I have felt Him every day that I have been half way around the world. May we all walk a small part of His path as we strive to exemplify His example, and as President Monson said, "Choose the harder right, then the easier wrong."
          I love you all and miss you dearly. Thanks for the love and support I'm so blessed for all of you. Love you all so dearly. Talk to ya'll next week!

Elder Roper

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Straighten Our Lines

Hey everybody! How ya'll doin??
      What a crazy week! This week has been exhausting to say the least! This week we tracted for over twenty hours, and talked with more people than I probably ever have in a week and guess what??? We still have no investigators (; We're working hard and seeing little miracles, but we're still waiting and working. We know that someone will come with a desire to change their life and we'll be ready, worthy, and willing to act on the promptings that we receive. I can truthfully say the greatest testimony I receive is in times of rejection. What a blessing it is to be spreading this gospel.
      When I finished my junior year of high school, I had a job as a farmer. Little did I know what a task that job would be for me. I really loved doing it. There's one experience that came to my mind this week that I'd love to share with ya'll.
      We had just barely started a brand new field and had started watering it. When you have new fields, they get really muddy while everything is starting to grow. This field in particular had a large little dip in the field that caused all the water to run to, and caused this huge mud hole. When I would go out there, I would be in mud nearly up to my knees trying to take care of the pipes. One day the mud was weighing the pipe down and I had this idea that I was just going to try and start the engine, hoping I could get the pipes out of the mud, instead of walking down and straightening out the lines. I was being both lazy, and going against all that I had been taught as a young farmer.
      I started the engine and begin to try to force the pipes out of the mud, and before I knew it, I had this big bang and clash of metal. I had snapped a pipe in two pieces due to the force of the pressure that the mud had caused. The pipes couldn't roll, and it caused everything to break. I called my dad and told him the situation and he came out to help me. When he arrived, he looked at everything and calmly said, "Tys, all you had to do was straighten out the line."
      At times in our lives, our lines aren't straight. We're stuck in the mud and instead of doing what's easiest and straightening out the line, we think we can push forward when we're stuck in the mud. I've learned unfortunately, that we just can't. If we don't straighten out our lines, no matter what we try to do, our own personal line will snap. Maybe that means mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. No matter the consequence, I know that as we straighten out the line, no matter how hard it may be, or how much mud we have to walk through, we'll find that our lines can move forward easily in order to plant our own personal fields of becoming like the Savior.
      Missionary work is hard. Simply to put it. However, I've never been happier to wake up and go read scriptures, feel the spirit, and testify of Jesus Christ. I love tracting and talking of Jesus Christ. Like prophets of old, I feel like jumping on bus stops and yelling repentance, and baptism. I want to testify to each of God's children, even when they deny me, reject me, or belittle me. I can say I've never been so happy to have His name on my lips. I love missionary work. I love trials. I love what I do every day. I know this is true without a doubt, and I testify that this gospel should be the very center of who we are. May we build our foundation in Christ in all that we do. I love this gospel. I love my Savior.
      Thanks everyone for all you do. Sure miss you guys. I pray for you all and can't wait to hear from you guys. Thanks for your love and support. I am truly and sincerely grateful.

Elder Roper