Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Change Of Heart

Hey there everybody!
     It's another week that has just seemed to fly by! The days go by quickly and the weeks are going by even faster. This week has been a great start to my last transfer and we're seeing miracles that keep popping up. Today I'd like to tell you about the miracle that I feel like I've been waiting months for.
     When I came to this area, investigators seemed to be easy to find, and the potential seemed to high. Baptismal dates came, dropped, came again, dropped again, and we've been sitting here scratching our heads wondering what to do. For weeks, investigators have been rare, lessons nearly impossible, and that pestering voice of failure constantly lingering in my head. The question of "what more could I possibly be doing" was ringing in my ears. So like missionaries do, we just kept going, and we finally caught a break and huge miracle from our loving Heavenly Father. 
     An old investigator showed up to church this last Sunday. We hadn't seen him for over a month. The last time we had seen him, he was chest high in addictions, particularly drinking and smoking. He couldn't seem to break the habit. The habit had lasted for fifteen years, and he had been trying to get baptized for nearly two years. He wouldn't answer texts, calls, or any sense of communication.
     At church, he asked to meet with me and my companion. He had a new appearance. He looked happy, and peaceful. He told us of what had been going on since we had last seen him. It turns out that during the month, he told us the change of heart that he had experienced, and that he had drank or smoked for over a month. I was astounded. 
     We started talking to him and asking questions. "What had changed? What made this mighty change?" He looked at us and he told us what had been taking place. For years, he had been fighting to overcome this habit. He realized how difficult it was when his little daughter was born a year ago. Despite a new daughter, he found himself partying every day with friends after week, leaving his wife and daughter home alone nearly every day. He saw his wife's countenance, and saw the tensions slowly building in his life, and his heart crushed in disappointment in himself. In his words he said, "I've been slowly breaking the heart of my wife for years." The change of heart came from his desire to be a better husband and father, and he knew he could wait no longer.
     This man has committed to be baptized this following Sunday and we're praying that this one will follow through. He has had two years worth of missionaries, a life's worth of heartbreaks, but now, he has an eternity of unimaginable blessings that will follow his decision to follow Jesus Christ. 
     The more I serve my mission, the more I realize how infinite and perfect the plan of Jesus Christ is. As a fallen people who make mistakes, who are weak, and who need lots of help, He provided us with His son. He provided us with the Savior Jesus Christ, and allows us to learn, to grow, to be cleansed, and to be perfected. No matter how hard the struggle, how dark the nights, and how long the unwinding road seems to go, there is always a home for each of us in the Atonement. It is the power to become, to change, and to fulfill the deepest desires of our heart. When the times are difficult, remember my dear Brothers and Sister... He loves you, He died for you, and He is always with you. I know this with a certain knowledge. I am a witness that He lives, and that He is always sufficient. 
     I love you all, and sincerely thank you for everything. Thanks for the prayers, the pleadings, and the love. I'm always grateful beyond words. Love you all talk to ya'll next week!

Elder Roper

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