Monday, October 24, 2016

Me + Christ = More

Hey everybody!
     It's been a crazy, crazy week over here in Korea! This week consisted of tons of meetings, picking up twenty five new missionaries, talks with Elder Bednar, and a baptism. It's been one of the most hectic weeks of my mission, but one where I've learned so much. 
     Elder Bednar was incredible to listen to. A prophet, seer, and revelator who speaks with power and authority. Everything he said we had already heard before, but as he expounded the doctrine, gave examples, and taught us through questions, my mind was enlightened through the Holy Ghost. I also got to ask him a question concerning the power of the Atonement (I might have been shaking a little bit) and how to apply it into our lives. We talked together about being acted on by the Atonement only comes after we've received power through our actions. Really neat moment for me to talk with an apostle of the Lord and hear his testimony. It's safe to say there is a light that shines within their eyes. It can't be explained, but the light shines brightly.
     This week we also experienced another baptism. The Lord has blessed us sooo much this last month. This young man had been taught the lessons, and had been delayed a couple times on his baptismal date. We taught him on Saturday, and extended the date for Sunday. He accepted the date, we prepared the baptism in less than twenty-four hours, and baptized the young man yesterday. He got to watch Elder Bednar speak, and was baptized immediately after. What an incredible experience it was. It was a spirit that can't be described. There's a new light, and a change of heart in every investigator that takes on baptism. Another wonderful and special memory for me in my new ward. 
     In all the meetings this week, I've found myself really overwhelmed by the things I've had to do. There's been a lot of late nights, a lot of stress, and a lot of questions that have been on my mind. I feel as though as my weaknesses have been even more exposed personally. This week due to just being plain exhausted, I found that my prayers haven't been as sincere as they could have been, or scripture study not as crisp as it could of been.. I've been focused on the action aspects of everything, but found that the spiritual enlightenment and nourishment was missing a little bit. I thought that if I just worked harder, did more, I would find that which I needed. I learned however, that that's not always the case. I've been using the formula me+more=Christlike, when in reality this week I learned that me+Christ=more. In the nitty gritty parts of my life, I found that if I just worked harder things would work out. I learned, however, that it's with Christ that we can do all things. It was a great lesson for me. It was humbling and made me realize that I can better partake of the blessings of the Atonement to give me the strength that I'm in need of. 
     I love this gospel. I declare my witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He's always there. May we be humble and turn to Him in our trials, and in our doubts and fears. As we do so a new light will come into our lives and a new motivation will come to serve others. I'm grateful to be here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm so blessed with a wonderful family, great support, and loving people around me. Thanks for everything. Love you all, and miss you so dearly. Thanks again for everything I'm eternally grateful.

Elder Roper

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hey everybody! 
     Been a crazy, crazy week filled with so many miracles. This week I was at the midpoint of training my companion, and was surprisingly transferred to a place called Oncheon, where I'll be serving with our mission president as his assistant. My companion is a former companion of mine that I had in my fourth transfer, whose name in Park Jong Min. It'll be great to work alongside him again. It'll be a amazing opportunity to serve alongside my mission president and I'm really excited to see what miracles will be there waiting. This last week we were able to baptize our investigator as well. It was the most incredible feeling to see the young man receive a remission of sins. It was again another memory that I'll forever cherish. Also, this past week we were able to commit another young man to baptism and he accepted. Although I won't be able to see it, what a privilege it was to teach him and learn from him. 
     As I prepared to transfer, I had to say goodbye to my last ward, and it was soooo difficult to do. The tears filled my eyes as I said goodbye for the last time to my investigators, recent coverts, and other members. A tender moment for me and one that I'll always remember. I'll be grateful for the time I spent in Jungri.
     My time is short, but I love this gospel, and as I serve, it's incredible to see the changes that come as we follow the gospel. I love the gospel, and love the Savior. I know He lives. I know it with certainty. I love you all and am so grateful for the support. Can't wait to talk again here soon! Thanks again!

Elder Roper

Monday, October 10, 2016

How To Measure Love

Hey everybody!
     This week was a crazy week! It started off with a massive typhoon warning that came through our mission. We were on typhoon watch early in the week and weren't allowed to leave our houses. The typhoon missed the area we're in, just sending a ton of rain our way. However, the typhoon massively hit the area of Busan. Also this week small earthquakes have continued to slowly make their way around our area. Super crazy with all this weather and new stuff. Stuff I've never experienced before. This week was also General Conference, and like always, it was just the best. So much revelation and inspiration to help us be better in our lives. It was a great week. We're also hoping this week to prepare our investigator for baptism this coming Sunday. Pray that he'll progress and make it through the interview, and continue to experience a change of heart as he prepares. 
     A few weeks ago, a missionary walked up to me and said, "Elder Roper, how do you measure love?" I looked at the missionary and said, "No idea, what do you think?" He too had nothing. So we looked at each other and laughingly said the next time we saw each other, we would have an answer. Although asked jokingly, it's been a question that has been weighing on my mind that I'd like to share with you all today of what I've come up with. 
     In the summers, it was common that my dad would ask me to do some chores around the house. In particular, there were things like washing the cars, mowing the lawn, taking care of weeds, and a few more. Right before my mission, my dad asked if during some free time in the day, I could go out and chop some weeds in front of the house. My lazy response was, "I'll try to find time," or "Maybe I'll do it." My dad didn't force me to do it, but asked me, knowing it would help him out. The day would pass, and I would choose to not chop the weeds. Maybe it was arrogance, or my laziness, or something different. I'm not sure, but I chose not to do it when I knew I could have. 
     My dad came home from work on one particular day after I hadn't chopped the weeds. He didn't say anything to me. He didn't treat me any differently. But, instead, he went in the house, changed, and went and chopped weeds. He had worked for twelve hours, and because of my laziness, he had to work more. He was always so loving, and always asked me to do these little favors, to which I never did.
     I never understood why. I never understood why my dad would lovingly, and without a word, go and do the things which he asked me to do. Likewise, I remember in high school when I would purposely come home late. My mom would lovingly and gently ask me to come home at a certain time. Like a normal teenager, I would respond, "I'll be home sometime around midnight." My mom would then lovingly respond, "I would love if you could make it home by then." One day I had gotten a little sick of these curfew lectures, and I told her, "Mom, you can go to bed. I'll make it home just fine. You don't need to worry." What my mom said has always stayed with me. "Tys, I can't go to bed until I know you're home and safe."
     So... how do you measure love? Like my parents taught me in so many various ways, love is measured in words, thoughts, and deeds. We show how much we love someone by the things we say, the things we think about them, and by those things that we purposefully and meaningfully do for them. Love is not a number. It is not a statistic. It is a living thing, nurtured by those things that only we can offer through our own personal choices. Like my dad, he would chop the weeds out of love. He was never upset with me, nor chastened me. He taught me love through his words, said and unsaid, his thoughts, and his deeds. So like my mom, who stayed up late with me night after night, knowing that she couldn't sleep with her young son not home, safe and sound.
     Because we love our Savior, we must show Him in our words, our thoughts, and our deeds. Although I lacked some things with my parents, I love them more than anything. However, I could have shown it more, and look forward to the day when I get to again. We all love our Savior, and Divine Redeemer. Now is the time to realign our lives, and to show our love for Him by everything we do, even in everything we say, think, and do, is my humble and sacred prayer.
     I'm so grateful for the gospel. I am grateful for loving parents who guided and directed me, and taught me through their love. I'm grateful for my Savior who loves us all without end. May we feel His love as we turn to Him is my sincere hope and desire.
     I love you all, I miss you dearly. I am grateful to be supported in your loving hands. Thanks for everything. Can't wait for next week! 

Elder Roper

Monday, October 3, 2016

I Believe in You

Hey everybody!
     This week has been a crazy crazy week to say the least! This week we started off with a baptismal interview in which our investigator passed, and was able to prepare for baptism. He was struggling all week to overcome his trials and temptations, but he overcame and was able to be baptized this past Saturday, and I was very grateful to be able to baptize him. Definitely an experience that I truly will never forget. We found this young man, taught him all the lessons, and was able to baptize him. As we were walking into the font together, he looked at me and said in broken english, "Elder Roper, I believe in you." Simple, broken english, but a message that will forever stay in my heart.
      After he was baptized, he bore his testimony to everyone and I would like to share it with you. Translated from Korean, he said, "Christ came to me, He found me, and He brought me to where I am." May we always remember that Christ comes to where we are, and will never forsake us or forget us. No trial, temptation, or addiction is too high for us to overcome. I've seen the gospel change this young man's life in ways that even I can't comprehend, and I feel like the young man summed it up best in sacrament meeting when he again bore his testimony and said...."I'm happy." That's exactly what this gospel is all about.
      Another miracle that came our way this week was another investigator who has been coming to church for about three weeks. Yesterday, during fast and testimony meeting, he asked if he could bear his testimony. We told him he could, and he went up and bore a strong and powerful testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He left his other church, and told them he was never coming back because of what he felt in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After the meeting, we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ in a very strong and powerful spirit. The spirit was so strong as we invited him to be baptized, and he committed to be baptized on October 16th. What a miracle, and a day I will never forget.
      Right now there are so many miracles happening in our area. So many things are going on and I'm so grateful to be a missionary. Words can't describe how grateful I am for this gospel. It changes lives. That's what it's designed to do.
     I know this church is true, and was restored. I testify that by living the principles of the gospel, we will be able to  live with our loving Heavenly Father. How grateful I am for that pure and perfect knowledge. I love this gospel, I love you all, and I am eternally grateful for your love and support. It truly means more than you will ever know. Thanks again talk to ya'll soon!

Elder Roper