Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blessed Be Their Name

Hey there everybody! Happy Mother's Day!
     It's always a special day to have Mother's Day here in Korea as a missionary. Skype, talking with family, and other blessings are indescribable. In Korea, Mother's Day is not celebrated really at all, so it's always a special day for me to think about , to look on, and to think about how grateful I am for the wonderful women in my life.
     Yesterday in church I was blessed to hear a talk from an American man who served in Japan, and to hear his testimony of how women have influenced his life. It brought me back home a little bit to listen to the testimony of another in english of how grateful he was for his mom. 
     Like others around the world, today I just am so grateful for all the wonderful women in my life, especially my mom. As I look at how my mission has influenced me, I can see how much my mom truly has done for me in my life. There are so many things that come into my mind that I could speak about, but some of the most memorable came in the last six months or so of when I was back in Utah, preparing to leave. Those six months were so memorable as I remember how much my mom did for me in preparing to send off her only son. 
     I think of long late nights, when I come home after curfew and tell my mom all the things that I had done that night. Always so simple, but such a blessing. But I remember one night in particular when I came home late one night in tears, and told my mom that prayers had been answered, and I was going to serve a mission.
     Paper work, doctor visits, interviews, and an endless shopping list filled our schedules. With mom by my side, all was done one by one. I'll never forget the day when me and my family made a long awaited trip to get all my clothes. One by one, shirts were tested, and suit colors matched, while mom inspected to make sure it was perfect for her missionary. In the back of my mind, it always broke my heart as I knew that my mom would never see me wearing them. 
     The days went by, the day grew near, and tears were always flowing as I continued to prepare. It all led up to the day I left, where the hardest goodbye I've ever said happened. A long last hug, and tear-filled "I love you's" took us half a world away, where my mom has done everything for me. Long late nights, tear-filled prayers, and worries unending has took us down to only six weeks, where my gratitude is only growing each and every day. 
     As I look back, I could go on forever, with so many people in my life. But on this Mother's Day, half a world away, I come to know more every day that throughout my life, my mom has been my everything, continues to be, and will always be to me. The heart grows fonder in distance, and love only grows in time, and I know that I've been blessed beyond measure for the wonderful mom that I have. How grateful I am for her, for two loving and beautiful sisters, for two wonderful grandma', aunts, great aunt's and more. I will forever be grateful for their love, their sacrifice. I stand with the scriptures in this simple phrase that says, "Blessed be their name."
     I love you all and I'm so grateful. May we all strive for grateful love in our lives. A love that is pure and true, and guides us to learn, do, and become. I love this gospel, this work, and am so grateful to express the smallest part of my feelings with you guys today. Love you all, and I'll talk to you here soon!

Elder Roper

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