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

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