Monday, July 25, 2016

The Three "Rs"

Hey everybody! Another week right on by!
     I've survived transfer calls and will be staying in the area with the same companion. Super excited for the next transfer that we'll get to have. This week the temperatures are continuing to rise and we're just getting hotter and hotter. The nickname for my area is "Deprica" because they consider it the Africa of Korea! This week we saw miracles, disappointments, and everything in between. This week we had a man who said we can't come back to teach him because his boss said he'd lose his job if he saw him talking to us again. We also had an experience with a few people from Africa who were really interested. One man said his uncle was the first one to bring the church to Africa a long time ago. And no less, I had the joy of having a drunk guy trying to hug me while tracting because in his words, "He really loved Americans!" Haha! It was a crazy week and one that has brought a lot of miracles and disappointments. But we know as we continue to work, God will provide.
     Staying in areas with the same companion is always a blessing. But along with a "lack of change”, we always have to continue to progress and move forward. As missionaries, we face the "three R's." We face routine, rejection, and restriction. Along with those, we often find ourselves in a routine of lack of progress, or lack of motivation. This week I've been thinking  a lot about progress and how we can always keep pushing forward despite the routine, rejection, or restrictions that life throws at us.
     Years ago I remember driving the RZR up on the mountain by myself in mid-October. It was extremely cold and snow had already fallen. Taking a back trail, I found myself riding in the snow and even though I was a little nervous, I had to keep going to get to a certain area, and soon found myself stuck in a snow drift. I remember being really nervous, being a little younger, and knowing I was alone. Although people knew exactly where I was, it didn't change the fact that it was freezing and I couldn't get out. I stood around and started to dig out around the tires, and got to where the RZR could get enough traction before hopping in and being able to back out. Although I wasn't the smartest, I knew I could go no further, and I had to find another way. At that point, I turned the RZR around and got it back it back to a safer place before walking the extra few miles in.
     As I've thought about this a few years ago, I feel like there's time in missionary work where I'm flat out stuck. I can't progress, I can't figure things out. It's in those moments where we have to dig out of the hole by turning to God and let Him lift us. Then, through that strength He gives us, we can find the traction to get to a safer place before moving forward. Sometimes we can find another way, sometimes we need to walk knee deep in snow. However, there's always a way to push forward if we will simply rely on our Father in Heaven. 
     I love my Savior, and how grateful I am for His love. Despite the ups and downs that missionary work brings, His love is always constant in our lives. I'm so grateful that I get to feel and share it with everyone around me. How grateful I am to share the gospel with the people of Korea. 
Thanks for all the support, letters, emails, and love. I'm so grateful. Can't wait for next week! Talk to ya'll soon!

Elder Roper

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