Monday, May 30, 2016

Eating Dog

Hey everybody! So glad that school's over right?? So crazy...
            This week was way interesting to say the least... To start the week, I got to eat dog. Weird to say, but it was pretty good. A little tough, but hey... gotta try it (; Also this week we had some really neat experiences with our investigators. We had investigators who said they didn't want to be taught, which is always hard, but potentials that we invited to baptism on the street and wanted to know more. That was so neat. And lastly, we met a man who finally asked, "How many wives he could have if he joined our church." It was a crazy week filled with so many miracles. Although we're not reaping anything from these miracles, I know good things will come from them. So grateful to be teaching these wonderful people.
            This past week I've been thinking a lot about "bondage." I've been reading about all the prophets, and people being in bondage and recognized that in our lives, we've all been in bondage. As a missionary, I see investigators trapped in addictions, missionaries trapped in struggle, and in the lives of members, I've seen heartaches that leave them hopeless and trapped with no faith. I've had people experience death, hopelessness, guilt, and shame. Reading this week in Mosiah chapter 16:8-9, I was comforted by these scriptures.
            "But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the light of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death."
            Life takes a toll on each of us, and we feel as though we are in bondage. We experience sicknesses, trials, heartaches, and things that leave us in bondage, in which we feel there is no way to escape. In the words of my investigator who said, "I can't take life right now because I'm going through death," or the other man I met who said, "I've lost all faith in the churches," there is hope in the fact that Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
            The word death can be replaced with any single affliction or trial that we face. Everything is swallowed up in Christ. Despite the darkness that has been in our lives, and will be, Christ is the light that is common to all if we will all just seek it. As I told my companion this week. "I have no idea how people can even go day to day in this life without the hope that all can be swallowed up in Jesus Christ." I testify that with Christ, all will be swallowed up in the eternal hope and comfort that we are seeking. This is why I am a missionary. This is why I go out each day to talk to people. Because I know how badly every single person needs this gospel. It is the thing that motivates me, drives me, and propels me to push forward, knowing that one small thing I can do for someone can create an eternal and lasting change for someone else.
            I've learned in this gospel that it seems like there's a lot of goodbyes. Goodbyes to "who we used to be", to people who have departed this life, to the trials that we face, to everything we hope to leave behind. However, I've learned that every goodbye opens a new hello to who we're wanting to be. Even in the hardest times, we can look up at a loving Heavenly Father and surely say. "I know how this story ends already. There is brighter day ahead of us tomorrow." There is no bondage that we won't be delivered from. And I know that as I walk the streets each day, I hope to deliver all those around me who are seeking the eternal.
            I love this gospel and I have a love for my Savior. He lives, and He answers prayers. He is aware of us in every way. I know that He will guide and direct every part of our lives as we allow Him to. I'm so grateful for the perfect example that He has set.
            I love you all and miss you all dearly. Thanks for everything I'm so grateful for the support it truly means the world. I'm eternally grateful.

Elder Roper

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