Monday, January 9, 2017

Are You Really There?

Hey there everybody!
     It's been another great week here in Korea! It flew by like always. It was transfers this week, and we've been really busy with meetings, planning, and this upcoming transfer. With all the changes, I'll still continue to serve as an assistant to the President, but I'll be receiving a new companion. My companion will be returning home this week, and my companion now will be going home at the end of this transfer. My new companion is named Lee Sang Reem, and it will be a great transfer to serve alongside him. I'm greatly looking forward to it. 
     This week with all of the stuff going on, there was a lot of stress, a lack of sleep, we dropped a few investigators, and with everybody transferring in the mission, it was a crazy week. We've been busy non-stop. There was a point in this week where I was definitely feeling spiritually drained, tired, and a little worn out. I felt as though my prayers weren't getting answered, and although I was trying harder, I just wasn't feeling the spirit as strongly as I was wanting to. 
     This week we met with an investigator who is diligently seeking for answers from God. He initially didn't believe in Him, and had never prayed, or been to church. It's been a blessing to teach him. This week while meeting with this young man, we taught him how to pray. And although he had never prayed, he said a prayer that has been running through my head over and over this week. Translated to English he said...
     "God, I don't know if you're there. But until I do know, and I get an answer, I'll keep praying to you."
     Three years ago exactly, I lay in a hospital bed with a blood clot, feeling the same way. With questions, doubts, and fears, I humbly approached the seat of God where I, too, said, "Heavenly Father, I don't really know if you're there right now. Are you really going to help me?" 
     In our lives we face those times when we humbly approach the throne of God, and through our tears, our questions, our doubts, and fears, we muster up the courage to ask like the primary song, "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do your hear and answer every child's prayer?" We have times in our lives where we are physically, spiritually, emotionally drained. We feel as thought no matter how hard we try, the farther we get from where we desire to be. We feel as though sometimes God has abandoned us, or is testing our patience. And even though we know there's a greater plan in store, we still have doubts and fears that sit in our heart. 
     Many times in my life, I have often felt that way. This week, I opened up the scriptures where I always find that peace I'm looking for. I opened up to the same scripture that I did in that hospital bed three years ago as I was preparing to go into ICU for the removal of the clot. And that favorite scripture of mine reads, "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
     My favorite scripture spoke that peace I greatly desired this week. And like I always do, I realized that Heavenly Father is personally involved in our lives. He knows us personally. Just as the Atonement is personal for each and every single one of us, He comes to us personally in time of need. Like the Atonement is personal, I know the gift of prayer is personal for the humble seeker of truth. And although there are many times in our lives when we turn to God, and like my investigator say, "God I'm not sure if you're there," I know that as we pray humbly and sincerely, with real intent, we'll find peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  
     I love this gospel. This gospel has changed my life. I never saw myself out here. But I'm so glad that I listened to the spirit and served, because my life will never be the same. The easiest thing about my mission the past year and a half is that I know that a loving Heavenly Father is only a prayer away. Like picking up a phone, I can call Him and seek His help at any time. I'm so grateful for the certain knowledge that He lives, along with His son and our Savior. I'm grateful for that sustaining knowledge that guides and directs each step I take. 
     I love you all, and I thank you for your thoughts, and prayers. I'm so grateful for the wonderful support I receive each week. Thanks for everything. Talk to ya'll next week!

Elder Roper

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