Monday, August 8, 2016

The Race

     Wow what a crazy week for us. It's still hot, and the work is still pushing forward. This week was pretty slow to say the least. Lots of tracting and spending time in the sun. However, we did have an investigator that came to church with a ton of interest that we found this week. We're hoping to keep working with him and get him progressing more. Overall, everything is going great and we're continuing to work hard.
     This week my mom sent me an inspirational video on olympic runner Derek Redmond. As I watched it, I had a memory pop into my mind that I'd like to share. Derek Redmond was a runner predicted to win the olympics, and tore his hamstring shortly into the race. His father, seeing the amount of intense pain his son was in, ran onto the track and finished the race with him. If you have time, go watch it,  and apply it to my letter. 
     All throughout my high school years, I faced a lot of shoulder problems. Whenever I pitched, I was in a ton of pain. As a junior in high school, we saw a doctor who said blatantly, "Your pitching career is over because of your shoulder." Knowing I couldn't be done, I continued to pitch, and pitch. I faced a lot of problems due to the pain I was in, both on and off the field. As my last weekend of baseball came around, my shoulder was done. I had nothing left in the tank. I had the wonderful opportunity to pitch in the all-star game in my very last baseball game. As I warmed up for the game, I was again, in a very severe amount of pain. My dad came over like he always did, and asked how it felt. I looked at him and I said, "Dad, I don't know if I can do this. I don't have anything left." My dad, calm as always, and with love said, "Tys, you only have three innings left, and you're done. Three more and that's it. You can do it." I remember that feeling of love and peace knowing my dad was right behind me. He was there to help me, and knew the pain I was in. Because he knew, I knew we were going to finish it together. After years and years, and tons of baseball, this was the end.
     I finished the game, and like that, my career ended. And on that day, I remember the lesson my dad taught me. Not only was my dad there for me through every single step of the way, my Heavenly Father was too. When we feel like we can go no more, and when we're in pain, God comes to us and magnifies us to the calling that we have been called. He pushes us to the end, and helps us to get through. As I've been in Korea, I've relied on my dad, my mom, my family, and my Heavenly Father in the continuation of finishing this race. Sometimes it hurts, and it's painful, but I know with the loving help of my Heavenly Father, I will always make it through.
     I love this gospel and I love my mission. So grateful for loving parents who inspire and lift me up when I need it. I'm grateful for great examples in my life who push me to excel even when it's hard. I'm so grateful for the people who help me and those around them to keep pushing forward.
     I love you all and miss you all dearly. So grateful for each of you. Can't wait for next week!

Elder Roper

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