Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Last Letter

Hey there everyone!
     I'm so grateful to be with you again this last week and to write you my last letter as I'm preparing to finish my last week as a missionary. This week has been full of love, and miracles. We're seeing little things each and every day that make it worth it. I've seen old friends, and made new ones. I've seen the work move forward each and every day. For over seven hundred days, I've watched the sun go up and down on my mission and seen my life change along with all of those close by me. How grateful I am for this opportunity to have been a missionary for this church.
     This week I had a really special experience that blessed my life. We had an "emergency drill" that took our whole mission to headquarters, where we had a final meeting. Our mission president will return home a couple days after me, so it was his farewell meeting. On our way to the meeting, I was asked if I would speak for just a few minutes on my mission. Of course, I gladly accepted and was grateful for the opportunity. 
     As the meeting began, President Barrow saw me sit down and asked me to come up and sit with him. I sat in a seat so familiar when I served alongside my President just a few months ago. We would get to give our last testimonies together. As I prepared to speak, I really didn't know what to say. Looking at all the missionaries who I love with all my heart, I bore my testimony of the reality of this gospel, and of the power of missionary work. It was a powerful moment for me as I expressed my love, my appreciation, and my gratitude for this two years that has changed my life forever. And like that special moment for me to give my last testimony on that special day this week, to end my mission with all of you, I leave with you my testimony.
     I know and I witness that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth in these latter-days. I know that on a spring morning in the year of 1820, that young Joseph Smith walked into a grove of trees to pray. What followed changed the world. I testify that he saw God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. They did in reality speak to him. And through this remarkable vision, the priesthood was restored to the earth, and through that power we have unlocked the keys of the restoration. Because of that, we can live with our families forever. We can go beyond the veil and experience the blessings of eternity. I know that through the power of God, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I witness with all my heart that it is true. It is God's word. I have read it, studied it, pondered it, and testified of it. The Holy Ghost has confirmed it to me over and over and over again. I leave you with my witness that it is true. 
     I witness that God hears and answers every sincere prayer. He knows us perfectly, and knows how to succor His people. He is a being of perfect love, and will always be there to lift us up. Because of His perfect love, He sent His Son to the earth and gave us a perfect example, and provided us with the Plan of Salvation. I know that Jesus is the Christ, and the Savior of the world. He was born of Mary in Bethlehem, and lived a perfect and sinless life. He set the example, lifted all those around Him, and then suffered unspeakable and incomprehensible pain in the Garden of Gethsemane where He suffered for the sins of the world. He suffered for each one of us. He was mocked, crucified, died, and rose again on the third day. Because of that, we too will be resurrected and perfected in Him.  He is the light of my world, my Savior, and Redeemer. I love Him. I want to be like Him. And as I moved forward in my life, I give my heart to Him. 
     I love this gospel with all my heart. The hardest week of my mission will be this week as I prepare to say last goodbyes. With each day I'll put my name-tag on knowing that it's nearly coming to an end. With each day I'll proudly bear the cross of my Lord. And with each step I take forward, I put my trust in the Lord knowing He'll always be there. This mission has changed my life. I'm grateful for every trial, every pain, every happy and down moment. I'm grateful that I made this decision. As we move forward together, may these words that keep ringing in my heart guide our path that say, "Trusting my all to thy loving care, and knowing thou lovest me, I'll do thy will with a heart sincere, I'll be what you want me to be."
     I love you all. Thank you so so much. With all the sincerity of my heart and soul I say thank you. I wouldn't be here without your love and support. I'll see you here in a few short days. I love you all, and thank you sincerely.

With all love and gratitude,

Elder Tyson Dale Roper

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