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

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