Monday, February 27, 2017


Hey everybody!
     It's been a great week here in my new area of Jinju. It's one of the most "country" areas in the mission, which of course is right up my alley. I have a wonderful companion who has been wonderful to work with. Right now the spirit is so strong in my life. It's so strong. This week we've been pushing forward in so much faith, hope, and high expectations. This week we've seen so many miracles. We have found a few new investigators and are working with four investigators at church right now, two of whom came for the first time this week after calling us randomly. I'm super excited to work in faith and move forward in this area. 
     This week I had a really hard time transitioning to my new area. Whenever I leave any area, it always seems to be very difficult for me. This last week as I said goodbye to my old companion, and left headquarters and everyone behind, it was so hard to say goodbye. There was a lot of tears and good memories as I packed my bags and headed for the bus to one of the farthest places away in the mission.
     It was different this week as my phone wasn't ringing every couple minutes, stress seemed to be all gone. However, being in a new area, with new people, it didn't feel like home yet. As I went to bed on my first night here in Jinju, I got down on my knees and said a very heartfelt prayer to Heavenly Father, pleading for His help, and His direction in my new area. The assurance of the Holy Ghost came into my mind and my heart and told me "that it would all work out" as I pushed forward with faith. I knew that in time, it would all work out just fine, and it has. This area is a place of miracles. I've been pushing forward with more desire than ever, to bring souls unto Christ. My faith unwavering, my heart set on the work, I put each foot in front of the other and walked as it just got easier and easier and easier. And today, I want to talk about the universal answer to all of our trials, questions, doubts, and fears. 
     The universal answer, the remedy to every little thing that we have, is "faith in the love of God." Sometimes in life, we are burdened by trials, by difficult times, by questions and concerns. However, with "faith in the love of God", there is nothing that we will not be able to get through. Faith in His promises, His will, and His way. Not ours. Did you know that when we struggle in life, it's normally always because we lack faith in God?? No wonder that faith is the first principle of the gospel, and the first law of Heaven.
     When we came to understand faith and love in God, ours will get easier. Our trust in Him will increase, and His trust in us will then increase. I want you to take a second and think of your best memories in your life... Your favorite memory? Your favorite song? Favorite scene? Favorite sound? Favorite picture? Think about them for a moment. They should put you into your own personal "happy place" and make you grateful for your many blessings. Although those are your "best memories”, there is a promise that I've been thinking about this week, and it comes in this simple scripture. 
     "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)
     When we love God with all that we have, no trial, no hard time, no fears will ever stay there. When we push forward with faith in the love of God, knowing that we are His children, He is our Father, and that He loves us so immensely, there is nothing that we can't overcome. And when we think of our hardest times, but importantly our best times, they will be nothing compared to those things that God has prepared for those that love Him. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard...the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
     I love this gospel. I love the Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel His love in ways that words will never be able to explain. I know that He answers every earnest and sincere prayer that we mutter. I know that He's always there as we push forward in His love. He's there to lift, to strengthen, and to enable us to become who we want and need to be. He is Divine Redeemer, our Lord, and our King. It is my humble prayer that we come to know Him sincerely, and trust Him deeply, so we can always push forward in steadfast faith in His perfect love.
     I love you all and am so grateful for the support. I miss you all so much. I'm forever and eternally grateful for each and every one of you. Have a wonderful week!

Elder Roper

Monday, February 20, 2017


Hey everybody!
     Another week has flown by here! They never seem to slow down. It was the last week of the transfer and we were busy with preparing transfers all week long and getting everything ready for the new transfer. This week I've been transferred and right now I'm in the process of packing and getting ready to leave. It's been a great blessing to serve in mission headquarters and although no transfer is easy, I look forward to new opportunities to apply the things I've learned from other great leaders. I've been transferred to the area of Jinju, and I’m serving with a great missionary named Elder Aurich. It'll be a great transfer and I'm really excited to move forward for my last few transfers here in Korea.
     This week amidst all the goodbyes, I got to meet with an old investigator of mine who I've often talked about. His name is M.C. Mickey. He's been my rapper investigator, and has really struggled with some addictions, lack of faith, and a lack of faith in the Atonement. Knowing I was leaving, he came to church yesterday to see me one last time.
     His problems have only gotten worse since he stopped meeting with the missionaries. His trials have gotten larger, relationships worse, and everything seems to be falling apart. Again,  yesterday, he told of us the same story of how he got there, and what he thought was going to fix it (becoming a famous rapper).  He will not make any commitments to do anything hard, and he won't desire to change. In particular, his drinking and smoking habits continue to hold him back. And he told us yesterday that they were habits that were impossible to give up. 
     To this man who I've thought about for months, and knowing this would be the very last time I saw him, I was very straight forward and bold with him. He told us again that he wasn't willing to try and overcome his addictions and that he just wouldn't do it. With great love, I looked at my rapper investigator, and confidently said. "M.C. Mickey, I want you to understand something. I've given up two years of my life. I gave up everything I had. I gave up family, friends, school, jobs, and put every little thing behind me so I could teach you this message. I gave up everything, and you won't give up anything." He looked at me as tears filled his eyes. The spirit told him that it was true.  I bore him my witness of the gospel in power and authority, and told him that it was true. I told him that I would probably never see him again, but from here on out it was his choice of whether to accept it, or to deny it. I told him it was up to him of what he would sacrifice from that point on. 
      In our lives, it's up to us what we'll sacrifice for the gospel. We all have weaknesses, trials, and challenges, but in the end we choose if we'll do what's right or not. When I chose to serve as a missionary, I gave my heart away, and I've never really gotten it back because I've trusted the Savior with it. When I gave my heart to him, he opened up new opportunities, new growth, and change. We only get where we're wanting to be by doing things that we've never done before. We must always push forward in faith with hope, trusting in the Savior and His plan for us. We must know that all sacrifices we make will be worth it if we continue in them. No matter how hard the trial, how dim the hope, or fade the pathway that we need to walk, I leave you with my witness of sacrifice for the Savior, and how it will change our lives if we only give it to Him. 
     I love the gospel, and I'm so grateful that it's changed my life in so many profound ways. It's a gospel of change but only if we allow it to change us. As move forward, use the Atonement, and do the best we can, I promise that Christ will magnify us in our lives. 
     I love you all and thank you for your support like always. I have the best support, and I'm always just so grateful for everything. Talk to you next week can't wait!

Elder Roper

Monday, February 13, 2017

Learn And Live

Hey everybody!
It's been another week already, and it's time for another letter. Seems like I just wrote one. It's been a good, but stressful week with a lot of stuff going on, but it's been another great week of spiritual growth and progress. Our investigator who was scheduled to be baptized yesterday wasn't quite ready yet, so we have rescheduled his baptism for another day. As missionaries, we "teach repentance and baptize converts", and this man isn't fully converted yet and ready for the commitments. But I know that as he continues to exercise faith, and do all he needs to, he'll be prepared. It reminds me of our own personal conversion, and how we constantly have to exercise faith in order to see our testimonies grow in truth. This week will also be a transfer week, so it will be busy with a lot of office work. I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for our mission this week as we prepare for transfers again. I'll be excited to see what the Lord has in store for me so I can continue to progress and grow.
This week me and my companion returned late from a Stake Presidency Meeting with our mission president. We got back just before eleven, and had to start translating some talks. We were just sitting there talking off and on, and doing our work, when my companion looked over at me after a few minutes of silence and said, "Elder Roper, why is it that we remember all of our mistakes?"
This question is asked a lot in missionary work. As we go on exchanges, this is one of the most asked. Despite the great and eternal changes missionaries are making, they constantly look back, burdened by things they've done, used to be, or disappointed in who they were. It's a great question that at point, I'm sure all of us have asked in our lives. But with an eternal perspective, and a testimony of the Atonement, we can understand why.
As a little boy, my mom made a batch of cookies. Being little and impatient, I wanted to eat them as soon as they came out of the oven. My mom, knowing the cookies weren't settled and way too soft, told me to wait just a little while. Not wanting to wait, I was sneaking in to get some, and was smelling these freshly baked cookies. And I'm not exactly sure what in the world I was doing, but I touched my chin on the pan, and burned it. I had a big rectangular burn on my chin because I hadn't been willing to wait. I learned a valuable lesson on that day.
Making mistakes is similar to getting burned. For example, if we were to stick our finger in a fire, we would take it out instantly because it burned. We wouldn't want to stick our finger back in it, knowing that it's going to hurt. Our mistakes are a reminder of what sin does. That it burns, that it hurts, and that it can completely engulf us if we continue to leave our hand in the flames. In our lives we look at our mistakes as a negative thing, something that we wish we could change. But instead, we must look at our weakness, our mistakes, as great blessings. Because of the mistakes we make, we can uplift, strengthen, and bless the lives of others who deal with the same problems. As friends, parents, and members of the church, we can bear witness of the Atonement in its fullness, and invite others to partake of that. We can truly change lives through the experiences that we have. Instead of the old cliche saying, "Live and learn", we need to say because of our mistakes, our inadequacies, and our weakness, that we can truly "Learn and live."
One day, we will humbly stand before a merciful, and loving Savior. We will feel inadequate, have regrets, and feel imperfect. We will say, "Heavenly Father, I made so many mistakes in my life. I did so many things that were wrong, and I wish I could have done better." The Savior, in perfect love and mercy, will simply respond, "I don't remember that." For those who strive to change, to grow, to repent, and become better, there is no greater words in the scriptures than that of "He who repented of his sins, I the Lord, remember them no more." May we always look at our weaknesses as blessings. May turn to Him so His power and love may rest upon us. May we understand that because God loves, He allows us to remember these things so we aren't consumed by the fire of the adversary.
        I leave you with my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. His Atonement is real. It is the power to do and to become what He needs us to be. It has the power to cleanse, to sanctify, and to purify us. It allows us to leave behind bad habits, and change to become more like the Savior. It is infinite in love, time, suffering, depth, and expands the depths of the eternity, so although we may feel inadequate, we can always keep an eternal perspective, knowing that if we keep trying, repenting, and doing the best we can, God will welcome us with open arms. 
I love the Savior. I am lost for words at His love and mercy. He lives. I don't just believe that, but I know that. May we turn to Him each day as we strive to follow Him is my humble prayer.
I love you all. Thanks for the love and support. Grateful for all that you do for me. Can't wait for next week!

Elder Roper

Monday, February 6, 2017

God Needs Us Home

Hey everybody!
What a crazy week over here in Korea! It's been full of so many great learning opportunities. This week Elder Choi Yoon Hwan of the First Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission and addressed us. We had some great meetings and got to spend some good personal time alongside him with all the meetings. Learned a lot of great things from him, and I'm so grateful for that amazing opportunity that we had. This week me and my companion also had the opportunity to cast out evil spirits from a man. That was uhhhh... interesting. A man texted me, asking if we could get rid of evil spirits, so we told him we could attempt to try. We gave the man a priesthood blessing and as soon as we commanded the spirits to leave, he began to freak out. Starting cackling, and shaking, and yelling. It was crazy! We ended the blessing, and he went still. He opened his eyes, said thank you, and then he left. It was definitely one of the craziest moments of my mission. Grateful for the priesthood. 
I want to share with you an experience from this week that has been on my mind. This week our senior couple finished a faithful mission, and returned home. I was very close to this senior couple. I served with them for nearly a year, and they helped me out so much. With all my health problems, when we had little food, or when we just needed a spiritual reassurance, they were always there to help. They came to headquarters this week, getting ready to leave and I got to spend a little time with them before they left. I'd like to share a lesson I learned from them this week. 
They were packing their bags, and I asked them what they planned to do as soon as they got home. Sweet Sister Dustin looked at me and said, "Elder Roper we are going to go home and fly back east." I of course asked why they were headed to travel and her response astounded me. "Elder Roper, we have a young grandson who was born without any brain function. I talked with the Lord about it and He promised me that I would get to hold our baby before He took him home again." I stood there speechless for a second, and looked at her. I quietly responded, "I'm sorry, that's hard. I can't even imagine." She looked at me and smiled. "It's not hard Elder Roper. He's a perfect little boy. He finished his mission, and God needs him home again. We're happy that we get the little time that we do." I stood there astounded by their faith, and hope in the Plan of Salvation. I'll never forget that last memory of this senior couple who has changed my life. I'll never forget those sweet words..."God needs him home."
Likewise, God needs us all home. Our purpose in this life is to go back to our Father. Like that family I don't know who will lose their son, God too sent His son to live, to die, and to be resurrected. That is the plan for each of us. However, I know that some of our faith varies a little bit in that plan. Like Sister Dustin stated in her testimony, it all starts with prayer. Simple, humble prayer. To communicate with our Father, and to learn to trust His plan and we follow it. It requires faith, and putting our trust in things we can't see, but things we can certainly feel through the Holy Ghost. It's my humble prayer that we all realize who we are, where we came from, and what we're really doing. May we remember in all actions and things that we do, that "God needs us home." 
I testify of the Plan of Salvation. Remember that this gospel is eternal. There is no end, but only beginnings. There is no such thing as a closed door, because God always has one open. I testify of the reality of eternal families, of the Resurrection, of the perfect reality of an eternal gospel. I know it, and I'm grateful that I do. May we all walk by faith, walk by the feelings in our hearts, and move forward with an eternal perspective is my hope and prayer. 
I love you all and thank you for everything. Thanks for the help and all you do for me. I'm so grateful. Have a perfect week!

Elder Roper