Monday, May 1, 2017

Coming Back

Hey there everybody!
Can't believe it's already P-Day here again... This week was a little different as we had a few more meetings. Got to travel this week to Busan and go hiking which took me right to my own happy place. Was great to be in the outdoors and get out a little bit. The work in our area is going pretty good but our investigators are continuing to struggle a lot right now. Our investigator that committed to be baptized last week decided that he wants to wait until at least June. I'm really understanding the difference between faith and patience in this area as little things like this keep popping up. But I know that the Lord is aware, and that all will be for their good and for ours as their missionaries. I know that good things are in store.
Four years ago this Wednesday on May 3rd, my family was sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Temple. By far the happiest and most influential day in my life. It would be a day that Elder Holland would call a "song that cannot be sung" because there are no words, no feelings, and no other things that can ever describe such an experience.
My family wasn't that strong in the gospel when I was growing up, but we had so many people that would lovingly push us to do more, and to strive to become more. I think a common question that I often asked as people continually tried to push us forward towards the gospel was the simple question, "Why do you keep coming back?"
We thought we were comfortable, happy, and had everything that we needed. We know now that of course we were wrong, but we thought we had all that we needed. A little while ago while proselyting, I had an experience that made it all so clear.
We were proselyting and I saw this man far off out of the way, sitting on a bench, cigarette smoke blowing, and alcohol in his other hand.  Being out of the way, we continued walking within his sight, attempted to talk to a few other people, to which they wouldn't acknowledge us, and kept walking. As we kept moving forward, I knew we had to go back to the man on the bench. The feeling was so strong. I grabbed my companion, turned around and walked up to the man.
He looked at us through his cloud of smoke and arrogantly retorted, "I just saw what you were doing trying to talk to those people. I saw them ignore you." I looked at him with a big grin and responded, "Great, a better reason for you to talk to us then right??" I sat down with the man and began to speak with him about his life, and saw the trials began to show in his face. I could tell he was hurting a lot. No wife, no kids, and facing the consequences of sin. As we kept talking, the tears filled his eyes and started to fall in between swigs of his alcohol. He finally looked at me and asked that question that I'm sure we've all asked the Savior when we too have been lost in sin, hopeless, or feeling unworthy of God's love. He asked me in between deep breaths... "Why did you come back? You didn't have to." I looked at him and lovingly responded, "I knew I had to."
Whether my family four years ago, this very morning, or any other day, the Savior always comes back. Whether we have sinned, feel unworthy, useless, or hopeless, He always comes back to us. Like the sun we sometimes we can't see, but know is there, or the air that we don't think about, but just expect... it's all the same. Christ is near us, beside us, with us, and most importantly, He is going with us to where we are going. And when we asked that same question in the deepest depths of despair, "Father, why do you keep coming back to me? I don't deserve this." He will calmly, and with great love respond, "You knew I would." 
I testify of the Savior, His perfect love and compassion. He understands our hearts, and our desires. Remember that He works from the inside out. He starts with our heart, and moves that to who we are. He doesn't care who we are right now, but He does care where we are going, and where we want to be. I know He's there, and I know He's walking with us each step of the way. I testify of His divine calling to be our Redeemer.
        I love you all, and I'm always so grateful. Thanks for everything you do. I'll be seeing you here next month. Until next week!

Elder Roper

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