Monday, August 29, 2016

Giving Everyything You Have

Hey everybody!! 
     This week... holy cow. What a week of miracles! So today... I just want to hop right into it. This experience was maybe one of the most spiritual of my entire mission. One that I'm so excited to share with you. 
     This last week we were sitting in area meeting with our sister missionaries, when all of a sudden, our investigator with a baptismal date gave us a call. We had a scheduled meeting later that night, but he called us randomly and said that he wanted to bring us some food. We said that would be just fine with us, and he showed up about twenty minutes later with a big old bag of McDonald's.
     While eating, one of the sisters saw a shadow outside in the hall. Knowing that no one should be in the church at that time, we walked outside to find a man walking down the hall. Not knowing exactly what he needed, we asked if we could help him. The man was using very complex Korean, but we could still pick out all the main points. Listening, I would hear phrases such as, "jail, punch, no food, thief, stolen, homeless... I wanna die."
     We listened and got the whole story translated to us again. This man who had walked into the church had been abused his entire life by one of his dads. He had three, and they were abusive to him. Recently, he had finally had enough and punched one of them, and was put into jail for it. His parents were upset, and told  this man that they never wanted to see him again. They were done with him. He spent his time in jail and got out only to find he had no home. He would purposely steal things hoping to get put back into jail, only to have the cops turn him away because he smelled bad and they couldn't stand the smell. He had no shoes, no home, no food, no money...
     While listening to this man, our investigator walked up to him and started bearing his testimony to him of trials. Our investigator, who has faced major alcohol addiction earlier in his life, told this man his entire life story and bore testimony to him that he would get through it. No less, our investigator, noticing this man had nothing at all, gave him his shoes, found him some clothes, gave him all his money, and gave him all the food he had. It was the most incredible miracle I truly have ever seen. This young investigator was found by us three weeks ago, and is already willing to give everything he has to those around him.
     This entire experience left me in tears as the lessons were profound. First lesson I learned. Always help those in need. If they need shoes, we can say, "Here are mine, you can have them." If they need food, we can say, "I will give you all that I have." If they need money, we can say, "I have enough, take what I have." And likewise we can return to Heavenly Father and say, "I gave all that I had."
The second lesson I learned. There is no habit, no addiction, no trial, no struggle too hard that we can't overcome if we will rely on Christ and those around us. Our investigator struggled for years to overcome his addiction. Years, therapy, hospitals, and everything else. As he told us his story, I was touched when he said, "I would pray to God for forgiveness... I'm sorry... I'm sorry... I'm sorry.... and I knew that He would get me through it." May we all remember that simple lesson. Christ will help us to overcome every little thing, no matter how deep we were, are, or will be. I know that He will be there. I am a witness of that, and see it change lives over half a world away. 
     I love missionary work. I love this gospel. I see it change lives, and work miracles. What a blessing, and what a pure privilege it is. It's not easy, but I wouldn't rather be anywhere else in the world. 
     I love you all and miss you so much. I feel your prayers, I feel your love, especially in hard times. I thank you for everything. Can't wait to talk with ya'll again. Sending my love from South Korea.

Elder Roper

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