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

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