This week has been the craziest, most stressful week of my mission. It's been nonstop all week long. This week we had Mark Peterson, an old mission president visit our mission, received new missionaries, tons of meetings, and Elder Scott D. Whiting came to our mission as well. Our investigators are starting to make more progress, and our area is getting strong. It's been great to see these miracles throughout our mission taking place.
This week I got to spend time with Elder Whiting in meetings and planning, and a few other things. There's one experience that I've been thinking a lot about that I'd like to share.
We had a mission leadership council meeting where our leaders gathered and discussed challenges in the mission. We came up with a large list, and President Whiting was going to talk to the mission based on the needs. So the next day we had a meeting, and Elder Whiting began addressing the concerns and gave a powerful talk. As the first meeting ended, and I was walking off the stand, he called me over and said, "Elder Roper, what did you think? What did I miss? What do I need to talk about the second half?" My first initial thought was, "Why in the world are you doing asking me??"
I turned to him and I didn't really know what to say. I had a thought come to mind and I told him that Elder Bednar had just visited, we've talked a lot about that experience, and all of those things. But nobody has yet addressed his conference talk in coming to know the Savior. I told him for the time of year, I thought it would be good if he focused on helping the missionaries come to know Jesus Christ. I thought it was a bad answer, just on the spot, but I was amazed that his whole second half of the meeting was exactly that... coming to know the Savior. He was humble enough to ask me what I thought, and then use it for our entire mission. It was a great learning experience for me.
He told of the parable of the ten virgins. He said that it is a parable of members. Ten members, and only five will be accepted through the door. They all had lamps, or a testimony, but only a couple had oil, a conversion. He said that conversion comes in coming to know the Savior. It won't be because He didn't know us, but because we didn't know Him. So there's my question for us all today... Do we really know the Savior personally, with no doubts, and unwavering? He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord, our King... do we really, truly know Him?
I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. This week has been a little tougher. Not only was it stressful, but I just received some devastating news from home. I know that in these hard times my faith grows and I come to know Him more personally. I know He lives. I don't believe it, but I know it. I love Him, and I love serving Him. I would be nothing without Him.
I love you all and thank you sincerely for everything you do for me. I love you all so deeply and am so grateful for you all. Thanks for everything.