Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hitting The One-Year Mark

         Hey ya'll! Hope you all had a wonderful week! They don't seem to stop, they're just flying!
         What a special and crazy week here in the mission. This week we started to get into the rainy part of the summer and it's been raining off and on all week long. We're also in the hottest part of the summer too. To put it simply, we're wet all the time. I'm starting to lose a lot of weight just simply from tracting all day. But hey, we're seeing sooo many miracles. This week we had an investigator who committed to baptism on July 10th! We're helping him to overcome some trials and challenges and hope to keep the date solid.  We also invited another young man to baptism and he accepted, but right now he can't attend church because he attends school every single Sunday. What a crazy week of miracles. We have more investigators than I've ever had, and the work is at a peak. It's been incredible to wake up knowing that people are looking for the gospel.
         This week it was crazy as I reached my year mark. The last year has flown by in a blur in ways that words will never be able to describe. Looking back, so much has changed and I'm so excited to see what the next year has in store for me. 
         It's incredible what the gospel can do in such a short time. Today I would just like to bear you my testimony of the things that one year has brought me.
         Before I stepped foot into the MTC, I knew this gospel was true. I knew it. However, with the things I've seen, done, witnessed, and everything else, I know more surely than I know the sun is shining outside that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. I testify that through Joseph Smith, God restored the one and true gospel so we could partake of it. I know that on a spring morning, Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ, and that He brought forth the Book of Mormon only through the power of God. I know that it is God's word. I've read it, and I know it's true. I talk about it every single day on the streets, in people's homes, in lessons, and I can't even mention the Book of Mormon without feeling a sincere sense of gratitude that I have it and get to live by it. 
         I know that God is aware of us and aware of our situations. He knows us personally and will guide us through every little thing that we will face. He truly lives for us, and wants us to succeed through His perfect plan. I know that He hears and answers our prayers. Some of my most spiritual moments have come through the peaceful spirit of a prayer and learning what God needs me to do. 
         I bear my witness that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest miracle of this world. He died for us, and took upon Him our weaknesses, pains, sicknesses, and sorrows so we could always progress. Only through His Atonement can we progress. The Atonement makes us whole as we exercise it and repent daily. I've seen it change my life and my investigators. We are nothing without the Atonement and Christ's eternal sacrifice.
         I am a witness that families are eternal. This life is a stepping stone to that of eternal worth. If we live right, and keep our covenants, we will live with our families in glory that surpasses all understanding. There is no greater peace than knowing that me and my family will be together forever. The happiest day I’ve ever had was the moment when I was sealed to my family. And I push forward through the trials of missionary work so I can bring that to others.
         I know without a doubt that Jesus is the Christ. He is the living son of the literal living God, and He loves us. I know that He was crucified for the sins of the world. I know that He was the promised Messiah, and that by Him and through Him, we can receive all that the Father has. In the words of my favorite hymn, "Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives... I know that my Redeemer lives." May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge is my humble prayer.
         I love you all and thank you with all the love that I possess. You all mean the world to me. Thanks for everything. 

Elder Roper

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I've Been Waiting For You

Hellllooo everybody! This week just seemed to cruise on by!
            This week we started getting accustomed to our new area and it was pretty awesome. We know nothing about the area but we picked up really well. We have two investigators who are preparing for baptism, one hoping for July 10th. They both struggle a little bit with the word of wisdom but we know that they'll be able to overcome if they'll exercise faith. We have a lot of investigators who we hope to keep working with as well. As we continue to work we'll be able to see miracles and bring them closer to Christ. It's been an overwhelming week to say the least, but it's incredible to see how the gospel changes the lives of those who will simply apply it. 
            This week we picked off where other missionaries had a while back, and started calling people hoping to get a lead on who we could find. I had an experience that I'll never forget. We picked up the phone and called a man who has been in the hospital for quite some time due to some alcohol problems. He answered the phone and we introduced ourselves. Without anything else, he simply said, "I've been waiting for you. I knew you'd call me." 
            This experience I feel sums up why missionaries are called. There are people who are waiting and know that there is something great out there if they can only find it. I thought about my experiences in my mission and know that I've been led into this area at this time for some very specific people. I can't help but think of those back home who are also waiting for the gospel. As members and followers of this church, we have the opportunity to find and to help those people who are searching for something greater. We have the opportunity to help those in need. As another missionary said this week to me. "There is no greater joy than knowing that I can help someone." 
            We can all help someone in need at any time. There are people who can be blessed through our service and I've seen the direct results of it. May we always turn outward to find those who are "waiting for us" as we strive to follow Christ's pure example.
            I love getting this opportunity. I love seeing the hearts change of those people we teach. There is no greater miracle than what I'm doing right now. I've seen new people through their efforts to follow Christ. This week was one of miracles and one that I won't forget. This is His work and I'm grateful to be serving my Savior. He lives, and loves us more than we know. I'm so grateful for that love.
            I love you all and miss you all a ton. I have the best support. I'm so grateful for it. Thanks from the sincerity of my heart.

Elder Roper

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


Hey everybody! How are ya'll doing?!?
     It's been a crazy week over here in Korea. This week was transfer calls and I've been transferred to a new area called Joongrie. It's an incredible area where the members have missionary work down to a science. We had our first meeting last night and me and my new companion, Elder Sorensen, who is also from Utah and attended Lone Peak High, will be excited to get after and start working. We are "whitewashing" our area with no investigators and no knowledge of anything right now. It will be extremely difficult, as change is never easy, but it's something that is necessary for us to grow and progress. I'm so grateful for where I'm at in the work right now. 
     Change is something that is constant in missionary work. It's also something that I've seemed to struggle with a lot in my mission. I love routine, and I love knowing everything that is coming and what I'm doing. As I've transferred into only my third area for my mission, and been assigned to serve as a district leader, I've continued to see how my life has changed and how the lives around me have changed. As I left my area only yesterday, it felt as though I was leaving family again. For six months, I worked, prayed, fasted, and loved the members and investigators of my last area. I left a piece of my heart in my old town. I was brought to tears as I said my farewells, and as I talked to my investigators for the last times. Although it's never easy, my heart has grown to love the Korean people more than words will ever be able to describe.
     I realize that as I approach my year mark, that time is flying by and nothing is as constant as change. The days are always rolling, and as I approach what we call "the downhill slope", I'm so excited to see what the next year holds as I've seen so many changes in the last year. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and grateful I get to serve these beloved people with all my heart, might, mind and strength. Although the sense of inadequacy is always so strong, the love that we feel in our daily work from those around us even stronger. And although it's so hard, I'm so happy because I know that the Lord is happy with the work that we're doing. 
     This week we saw so many miracles, and I can't wait to tell you next week about this area. We have some incredible potential and me and my companion are excited beyond words. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth. And we are a part of it. How grateful I am to be sharing this with everyone. I love my Savior, I love this work, and I love the people around me. This work is true, and how grateful we are to be apart of it. 
     I love you all and am continually amazed at the support. I get so much support and it truly means the world to me. I am so grateful for everything you all do. Thanks for everything. Can't wait for next week!

Elder Roper

Monday, June 6, 2016


Hey everybody! Great to talk to you all every week!
     This week was one filled with a lot of miracles. In sum, we met an investigator who has a lot of potential. He heard so many rumors about our church, and wanted to know. We finally got to meet with him this week and discern his concerns. He's had so many spiritual experiences in his life but he doesn't trace them to the spirit. We're working on helping him to discern the spirit and have the faith to know that the power of the Holy Ghost can't simply be made up. That it's a power beyond our own. It was a great week with some wonderful people, and a wonderful sense of the spirit.
     This week I've been thinking a lot about choices. Three years ago, on June 5th, I watched my sister walk into the MTC. I remember I lost a part of me that day, and it always felt as though something was missing. I remember at the same I didn't support her decision to serve, or support what she was doing. However, her choice to serve has resulted in me being where I am at today. The choices we make, the things we do, truly shape who we are in our lives.
     When Whit came home off her mission, I told a story of train operator who went to the train station every day with his son. Every day his son would play while his dad worked. One day, to the dad's horror, the son fell onto the tracks with no escape or way to get out. With two trains coming, the dad could either crash the two trains, or send the trains in their normal directions, killing his son. He pulled the lever, and watched as his son was ran over. The dad ran in horror and watched all the people get off the train. The happy, the sad, the addicts, the depressed. He had made the decision to sacrifice his son, but saved others in the process.
     In the mission field, we're faced with choices each and every day to "talk to this person" or "study this principle" but there's more beyond that. Every single decision we make as missionaries either brings us closer to God or farther from him. Like the father in the story, we sometimes need to make the decision to sacrifice things that we love for those around us. Not only does every choice affect us, but all those around us. Every thing we do, someone sees. Everything we do, can influence someone. May we all pull the lever, and make the choices that will bring us closer to God and help us to feel of His love. That one decision my sister made resulted in my family's sealing, and my mission, no less to mention the things that I can't see. We don't know how much good we do through simple every day choices. May we be like President Monson mentioned, "Always choose the harder right, than the easier wrong."
     I love this gospel and this work. I love the Holy Ghost and its influence in my life. I'm so grateful for its guidance and direction. I love my Savior more than words will be able to describe, and testify of this gospel.
     Thanks for the love and support. I am so grateful for all that you guys do for me. I'm so blessed by those around me (: Thanks for everything, it means the world. Love you all so dearly.

Elder Roper