Monday, September 26, 2016

He Is Always Near

Hey everybody! Another week gone already???
     This week, like always, seemed to be crazy. The week started off again with a few more earthquakes. They were smaller, but we continue to get aftershocks. The weather is cooling down, and everything is going great. The investigator that we are currently working with committed to a new baptismal date for October 1st! Right now he's really struggling with a few addictions and we're praying that he'll be able to overcome the temptations. The meetings have been so spiritual with him this week. From him thinking that it wasn't possible to change, to a full change of heart, we pray that he can receive baptism this upcoming Saturday to help him on his journey to Christ. Pray that he'll be able to progress and make it. 
     This week I've been thinking a lot about an experience from high school that I feel like has been relating to my life and my investigators that I'd like to share with you.
     A few years ago on a cool summer night in the middle of the archery hunt, I decided that I wanted to go up on the mountain by myself and go hunting. My dad was working, and I had just barely gotten my license, but my dad trusted me to go up on my own. Being fairly young at the time, I prepared and got ready to go. I loaded the truck, and checked everything. I looked at the fuel gauge on the dashboard and saw what I thought was enough to get up to the top and back. I thought that I was all ready to go for the night.
     I was just getting in the truck to leave, and my Grandpa Dale pulled into the driveway. I told him of my plans to go up on the mountain that night to hunt. Always caring and loving, he asked if I needed anything. Food, equipment, gear, or fuel. I told him I had plenty of everything that I needed and that it should be okay. Always wanting to make sure I would be okay, he told me to stop by his house and he would have a few things ready for me. 
     A few minutes later, I stopped by his house, he gave me food, he gave me fuel, and just as I was getting ready to leave he asked if he could join with me. I knew that he wanted to be there to help me out, and I was sure glad to have him there with me.
     We drove up the mountain, and it soon became apparent that I hadn't packed as well as I thought. As we neared the place where I had planned to hunt, the truck was "running on fumes" as I nearly was out of gas. At the top, we were able to fuel the truck back up. I know had my grandpa not taken care of me, I wouldn't have gotten home that night because of my lack of preparation.
     Like that summer night for me, I realize that the Savior walks in the footsteps as my Grandpa Dale did on that very night. There are times in our lives when we think that we are prepared. That we can overcome trials, and temptations, and all the stuff that this world throws at us. But unfortunately, we're mistaken. Like my Grandpa Dale, the Savior steps in at the right moment, and not only gives us the means that we need to get there, but He comes with us and aids us, and makes sure we get there safe and sound. He never leaves us alone for His promise is sure. "I shall not fail thee, nor forsake thee." He gives us everything we need with the gifts of the gospel, and instead of leaving us on our own He simply says, "I'd like to come along to make sure you get there okay."  I'm so grateful for that example in my Grandpa Dale, my family, and all my grandparents. How truly and eternally grateful I am for their pure example of love and care.
     I testify of Christ's pure love for us. Because He loves us, He will always be near us. At times in our lives when the paths seem dark, the times seem hard or even far fetched, remember that He "promises angels on our right and left to bear us up," that "He is always near," and that "He will come to us." I testify of our Lord, our Savior, and our divine Redeemer.
     I love you all so dearly, and am continually amazed at the support. Again thank you this week for the birthday wishes. It was a perfect day and I'm so grateful to have had it in Korea. Love you all till next week!

Elder Roper

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Hey everybody!
     First things first, thank you for all the birthday emails this week! So grateful for all of the wonderful support. I have such wonderful support and I'm so grateful. I love you all so dearly.  I'll get to back to you all, hopefully sooner than later! Thanks again it truly means the world!  I guess in Korea, I'm now 21...but I like the idea of being 20 a little more in America myself (; 
     This week was insane to say the least. It started off with two earthquakes! We were sitting in our church building when the entire building started to shake beneath us. We were all in shock and just stood there looking dumb as it passed on by. We were all shocked, and then about thirty minutes later, an even larger earthquake came and shook the church some more. It was big enough that it got us out of our seats and into a safer place. From what I heard, they were measured at 5.1 and 5.8, the largest ever in the history of Korea. Pretty crazy to say the least. 
     This week I've been thinking a lot about "personal earthquakes" that take place in our lives. As a missionary, I get to see people who struggle, who are heavy-hearted, and those who hurt. There are days too, when like them, my heart is heavy, especially this week with the passing of my great-grandma. For whatever reasons, there are times when we feel abandoned. This week I've had a lot on my mind, dealing with some trials, and I found myself praying sincerely to God for help. I found my investigators searching desperately for answers they couldn't seem to find. It seemed like this week, all in all, was a week of searching and relying on God the Father, and trusting in His plan. I know though, that at the end of it all, me and my investigators will all realize that Christ has been there right beside us the entire time. 
     This week I found a second of time, and I decided to put some of the my feelings into words and wrote a simple poem that I'd like to share. 

One night amidst pure trial and thought,
I lay awake in bed.
My heart filled with questions and doubts,
My life in need of mend.
My heart is heavy, my soul so weery,
I have no direction to take.
In exhaustion and pure triumph,
I close my eyes to sleep.
I begin to drift into a dream,
Bright light soon fills my eyes.
I don't know exactly where I am,
But it's that of paradise.

Love fills my heart, hope lights my mind,
I find myself at peace.
Away from trials and temptations,
That have been besetting me.
When on the horizon, a figure appears,
And I recognize my Savior.
Step by step, I start running to Him,
A journey that's of forever.

Out of breath, and tired, I reach the Son of God.
I fall at His feet and weeping say,
"Help me Lord, I'm lost."
He looks down upon me, and with pure love in His eyes,
Lifts me up with printed hands and says,
"I am Jesus Christ."

"I am your Savior, your Redeemer, and your closest friend,
It was in Gethsemane for you my son,
That my blood was freely shed.
I know the times are hard for you,
I know the weight you bear.
I see your tears, I hear your cries,
For I am always near.
My Son, I love you dearly,
I gave my life for you.
I know you will get through this,
For that's the path I have for you.
Do not worry, do not despair,
My peace I leave with you.
Though the trials may seem endless,
Together we will make it through."

I look up in His loving eyes,
My fear filled with peace,
Standing with my Savior, my Lord, my God, my King.
My doubts are gone, my fears all flee,
And a bright light fills my eyes.
A new morning has arisen, and it's that of paradise. 

     I testify of Christ and His plan. I testify that He is always with us no matter the circumstance. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, and the Light of the World. I am so grateful to be serving with Him at this time in my life. I testify that He lives. I know it, and I pray that the whole world may know it so they can partake of everything that He offers. "Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives... I know that my Redeemer lives."

Elder Roper

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Week of Going And Going

Hey everybody!! 
     What a crazy week this week! To start off, I went to Busan five different times this week. I did a ton of traveling, preparation, and studying to prepare for the incoming missionaries.  I have been paired up with Elder Redford from Alpine, Utah. He's from Lone Peak High School. Two companions in a row from ol' Lone Peak. He's great, and I love working with him. He's a hard worker, and I love the faith of a new missionary. It's going to be a transfer of miracles. I'm beyond excited for it.
     This week.... well we were planning on a baptism... but we decided to postpone it a few weeks because his testimony wasn't as strong as we wanted it to be. We met with him on Tuesday, and he still struggles to believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  We will continue to work and study with him, and pray that he will find his testimony. As he comes to know that with a surety, we'll make the steps to enter him into the waters of baptism. 
    This week has been a week of just going and going. It's been a week of studying the concept of change, and applying things into our lives that we know to be right. Our mission is focusing a lot right now on "why" we're missionaries, "what" we need to do, and "how" we're going to get there to fulfill our purpose. I've been thinking a lot about these questions, and I feel that it applies so greatly into our lives. We need to remember always that Christ is why we do everything. As soon as we recognize that Christ is our foundation through which we're doing, we'll realize what we need to do, and how we can do it through Him. 
     This week was really crazy and I'll prepare for a greater lesson next week. Pray that our investigators will find their testimony. I know that like my investigator, our testimony is the most important thing. We all know where we need to improve our testimonies. If it's lacking, may we strengthen it. If it's failing or falling, may we bring it back up. May we study Christ long enough to love Him and serve Him is my humble prayer. I love my Savior, and this gospel. So grateful to be a missionary sharing this wonderful message.
     Thanks for the love and support. Know how grateful I truly am. You all mean the world to me. Sending my love from Korea.

Elder Roper

Monday, September 5, 2016

Enjoy The Little Things

Hey everybody!
     So what a crazy week! It was the last week of the transfers and I'll be staying in the same area of Jungni and I'll be training another new missionary that I'll get later on in the week. I've been traveling a lot this week and having to do a ton of unexpected things due to the fact that I stayed, when I expected to leave, but I'm so grateful that the Lord has blessed me to stay in the area and continue to see miracles. This next week we have a baptism scheduled for 9/11 and I'm really looking forward to it. The young man is definitely one of the miracles of my mission so far, and I'm so grateful that me and my last companion who helped teach will be able to attend it. What a week of miracles.
     This week has been hectic with transfers, investigators, conferences, meetings, and everything else. One of the lessons I learned this week doesn't come from a lesson, or an investigator, but it comes from the small, simple things that I often overlook as a missionary. In missionary work, we're told to "not count the days, but to make the days count." We're told to "enjoy the hard times" and told to "cherish every second." Amidst trials and hard times, it can be difficult to not get antsy or to look ahead. 
     This week there was a day in which it rained for nearly thirty hours straight. It was crazy. It never stopped. Despite the rain, I love to tract and still go out. Me and my companion went out tracting for our very last time together, getting soaked, seeing very few people, and all I could think was, "I'm going to miss moments like this." There's no feeling that can compare to a night of missionary work where you're so grateful for all that is going on. Despite questions, concerns, trials, and temptations, we can look ahead and be so grateful for all that we have, and hope to have. To sum it up, I love the quote that sits on the wall of my living room back home that states, "Enjoy the little things, for one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things."
     May we always recognize our blessings. May we always be grateful. How grateful I am for the long summer nights that I've spent in my current area, and how grateful I am to get a new missionary that I'll get to share more great times with. What a blessing it is to be the Lord's servant in these latter days. I testify of this gospel and its reality. I know that it is true, and I'm so grateful for it and the blessing it is in my life. I'm grateful for each and every one of you and your support. I feel your prayers, and I know you're there. I love you all and I am grateful beyond words. Thanks for everything, and I can't wait to update you all next week on what will be coming in the next week! 

Elder Roper