Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 8, 2016

Hey family!
So this is gonna be crazy short but I did end up getting transferred. It was sad to be leaving Zanesville but I am ready for change and excited to get to know a new area. I am in Bucyrus which is like the smallest town I've served in yet. It is at the very top of the mission. My companion is Elder Cooley from Logan Utah. We are in a very small ward, it could probably be a branch.
We had several people at church yesterday which was great. One of the less actives we taught came and even bore her testimony.  It's very different being in such a small ward. We taught gospel principles which I haven't done in forever, we were 2 of 6 people in Elders Quorum the others were missionary's, the teacher and one other guy. Ha i am sorry this is so
short! I promise next weeks will be better.    
I hope your guys week was great.
Love Elder Roper
My companion is the one in the middle.

February 3, 2016

Hey guys,
Well I don't have much time today because transfers are this week, we did get the news that I will be transferred.
A few Great things that happened this week were Jim spoke in sacrament meeting and gave a great talk on the Book of Mormon. He was very prepared for it and asked everyday if he could practice speaking his
talk to us. Then right after church he left to go get his patriarchal blessing. So he is doing great.

Sirius was sick this week and wasn't able to make it to church but is still great. We got to go do more service on the fish farm. We helped pull out 2000
pounds of tilapia. It was a blast!

Have a great week!
Love Elder Roper

January 25, 2016

Hey family,

ELder Elzey and I had another eventful week here in the freezing town of Zanesville.  It always makes the day go by so much quicker if we have appointment or meetings to look forward too and we did almost everyday this week.

Tuesday was district meeting. It's always fun to see other
missionary's but the meeting itself was alittle rough.   We don't ever read the scripture or do anything really spiritual so some times it's hard to leave feeling spiritually re-energized.

Wednesday was the worldwide missionary broadcast. I'm sure every missionary's letter will talk about this but it was great. The message was teach repentance, baptize converts. The broadcast itself was great. There was honestly nothing new that they taught though.  I was kind of expecting a new announcement or something but nope, the doctrine they taught was the same as always, our missionary purpose.
It was just a good reminded that we need to be continually reminded of the simple truths of the gospel.  After the broadcast was over they let us stand up and stretch for 15 seconds then we were right back into it. 

As a mission we just basically had a chance to say stand up
and say what we learned. It got alittle boring because I felt like every one was saying the exact same thing though. But in the end everything was great.

Friday we got to go to service at the fish farm again. They have an employee who works for them named Clayton that is showing a little bit of interest the gospel. So the real reason we were there is to talk more about the church with him as we worked. I personally think there are very few ways that are better for preaching the gospel than through service! 

Saturday was one of my favorite days this week. We got to go to the temple with Jim. During the week we helped him find his dad on family search, well my companion did that because I know absolutely nothing about that.  But It was such a special experience to be in the temple with him that day. There is just a peaceful powerful feeling being in
the temple.
I hope you all had a great week.
Love Elder Roper

January 18, 2016

Hi family.
What a week it has been. It has been cold and for the first time this year we got a real snow fall. We got a couple of inches Monday night so on Tuesday we were able to shovel snow for several hours. Wednesday we had interviews. It was a little different this time because as we were being interviewed by president, his wife was giving us a training
on weekly planning. They are really good at reading though the lines in preach my gospel and finding out new thighs that we can work on as a mission. Weekly planning is normally a struggle and not liked! for me at least. Why weekly plan when we already have to plan every night?

That is sometimes my thought. I know why it is necessary and in the end it always helps out! But now by the time we are done weekly planning every hour of the week should be filled. They gave us four hours do this on Wednesday than again on Friday we took 3 more hours.  But now nightly planning is much easier and more productive. Some nights after we prayer for inspiration we get off our knees and look at our plans and the entire day is blank except for the dinner we have a 6. Those days were just dang hard to plan for! Now nightly planning is much shorter and easier to do. We see what plans we need to adjust so that we can reach the goals we set for the week and It gives us something to look forward to do the next day. The meeting went from
9-5 and  right after we got home we headed over to the church for a ysa dodgeball game. There was a ton of non-members there and it was a nice break after sitting down all day.

Thursday after district meeting we had exchanges. It was the day we had chosen to go to Stockport which is at the very bottom of our area and takes about an hour to get to.  While there trying we were trying to find less actives homes and make sure their addresses were right and trying to find people who would be interested in us coming by to
teach them. Most homes down there are on long dirt roads. This is my favorite part of my area because I love the country. The typical mode of transportation is a four wheeler or beaten up truck and it just smells like a good old country town!

Saturday was my favorite day of the week! Sirius Underwood was finally baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints!
Ahh it was such a good baptism. There were so many people that came and supported him. It was a little stressful getting everything together and making sure that it will run smooth. The only hick-up that we had was that we couldn't get the water heater to work because there was a member baptism that morning and they used up all the hot water. So the water was a little chilly but in the end all we could do was laugh about that. My favorite part of the baptism was when Sirius
bore his testimony. It was short but so powerful. 

The spirit was there and I felt like he said so much even though he only talked for like a minute. He talked about how great and peaceful it is to know that he has been forgiven of everything  that he has done in his past. The Atonement is so amazing and I am so grateful for all that Jesus Christ does for me in my life.

Friday we had dinner with the stout family and Jim and Sirius were there too! Brother stout was the one who baptized Sirius so it was a really good meal. The only problem was it seemed like everyone had so much that they wanted to say to Sirius because it was the night before his baptism. So that was a little overwhelming but Sirius enjoyed it and the food and company was great so I can't complain.

Sunday was his confirmation. I had the opportunity to confirm him as a member of the church. It was s powerful and humbling experience as all of his fellow shippers and friends in the church congratulated him and showed so much loved and wanted him to know that he is now apart of the ward family. I think I have said this several times but teaching him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and watching the spirit
come into his life has been one of my favorite experiences that I have had on my mission. 

We have already started working on his family history and plan on going with him in a few weeks to be baptized for
his dad in the temple. This gospel is so true and Im grateful for the knowledge I have of it!

I hope you all have a great week.
Love Elder Roper

January 4 2016

HI family.
Happy New Years!!
I can't believe 2015 is over. It is going to be a hard year to beat.  It was the one full year that I got to spend in the service of the lord! But I am going to try my very hardest to make 2016 better than last year and I think I'm going to succeed.

My week was pretty normal but a little slow because of the holidays. Everyone seems to be doing pretty great. Sirius is excited for his baptism. One of the highlights of my weeks was walking out of his house after a lesson. It was just so great. It was a simple lesson, all we did was show him a short video and talked  a little bit more about repentance and the atonement. But we got into the car and we both just were smiling because of how great it was. Sirius said the
closing prayer without hesitation (which he rarely does) but it was just amazing to see how he is changing.  

He told us about how he talked one of his friends out of robbing a bank then invited him to church and promised him blessing. He is just a good guy! The rest of the week was pretty hard though with not many lesson taught but experiences like that are why I think it's worth it.

The other highlight of my week was a phone call I got from my mini missionary that I had in June. He called to tell me that he is going on a mission to Cali. The reason it was so great was because it came as a shock. At the beginning of our week together (back in June) I was asking him about what his plans were mission wise and he told me that
this was his 3rd mini mission and he just didn't think he wanted to go on a real one and that the only reason he was on a mini mission was because his parents kind of made him. After hearing that I wanted so bad to help him have a good experience during our week together. But at the end of our week I realized that we had taught like almost no lessons, did a lot of tracting with no success and from my perspective
it was a pretty hard, hot week. But we were obedient and always tried our hardest to do what the spirit was telling us and to always have the spirit with us.  He has since thank me for the week we had together and  said that it help him make his decision. I don't share this story to boast at all but it helped me realize that those hard weeks are worth it.

Well the cold is finally here but no snow yet! Have a great week.
Love Elder Roper

December 28, 2015

Hi family.
I hope everyone's Christmas was wonderful. Christmas in Ohio flew by and was a little weird because of how hot it was. But I'll start from the beginning of the week. Tuesday was our mission Christmas devotional/party. We had to be there by nine so we had to get up early and drive to Columbus. It was such a fun day! We spilt off into zones and all acted out a part of the nativity. I will send you my zones little part. We did the naming of John the Baptist. Hah But it was supposed to be fun so we added our own little twist. Then they put all
of the zones little clips together and we had a nativity scene. It was pretty cool. 

The rest of the day was filled with games music and a
lunch. It was just a blast to be with the entire mission. But don't worry we didn't have to much fun there was a spiritual part as well. As a mission we just finished reading the Book of Mormon. So after my mission president spoke to us for a minute he gave us the opportunity to bear our testimony on what we learned during the past 3 months as we studied the book. I learned more than I could ever share. The book is so true! But in the last 3 months I think the thing that I learned
most is the power of the Book of Mormon. Reading it helps me get through the drudgery of a mission and gives me a purpose. Meaning the times when the days are long, cold, and no one wants to talk to me.  I never want to miss a day of reading it again. 

At 6 that night we had a quad stake mission fireside for members and investigators.  We had a choir (which I did participate in, merry Christmas mom) and some videos and talks. It was the perfect way to end our night! 

I loved the week of Christmas. We were able to spend a lot of time with Sirius which was good because he is struggling. Satan really doesn't want him to be baptized.  He has a pretty crazy life but is staying strong and not falling into the temptations that are be thrown his way.  It's interesting how things are working out with him but he is still doing good. We pushed his baptism back to January 16. If I have learned one thing from my experience with Sirius is that the lords hand is in EVERYTHING that happens and that this is his work.
Jim is also doing great. Today he took us bowling and out to lunch which was a blast. 

We set a date to go do baptism at the temple with him.  He is like a perfect recent convert. It's almost too good to be true. He is reading everyday and is just already a good Mormon. 

Christmas Day was great. We got to skype, eat lunch and dinner with members and just enjoy the Christmas spirit.
This week in church the third hour was combined and about sabbath day observance.  It really has made Elder Elzey and I think about our sabbath day and why it is so important to make it different from other days. As a missionary everyday is basically the same schedule, but when we get home it won't be. Sirius didn't really understand that on Sunday we do things a little different, like how to keep it holy. Most
of the talk in 3rd hour was about families and how they can make Sunday better but Sirius and Jim both raised a concern about how they don't have families. Which kind of got everyone thinking. So after that we talked more about how we can make the sabbath a delight and holy more on a personal level. It was a great meeting.

I hope Christmas was wonderful for everyone. Be grateful for the snow and enjoy it.
Have a great New Years.
Love Elder Roper
Recent convert Jim

December 16, 2015

Hi guys!

Well I'm going to talk to you all in like a few weeks so I'll probably keep it short. But lots has happened. Another transfer has already come and gone. This one was only a 5 weeks long so that it wouldn't happen the day before Christmas. So the next one will be 7 weeks long.
But luckily Elder Elzey and I will be staying together which I am thrilled about! Christmas is going to be wonderful!  I always get emails of Cameron giving haircuts so I thought I would give it a try on my comp! Ha I sent pics.

Sirius in finally on date for January 2nd. So that good. He is doing great. He has never really celebrated Christmas before so we are going to help him have an amazing first Christmas.  It's been a humbling experience to think about his life. He never really has had "Santa" Come see him as a kid, He never gets to ask for presents or decorate a Christmas tree! But starting this year he is all in for Christmas.  We have a lot of fun with him! Seeing Sirius Change and watch the light
and hope come into his eyes and becoming his friend is why I love my mission!:)

Hmm..this week we had a zone conference which was pretty good. I always leave those meeting on a spiritual high and feeling good!  My favorite experience this week was probably while doing a little tracting. We had just gotten out of a less actives home and didn't really have anything planned for awhile and so we just went right across the street to this house that had a sweet looking truck outfront and knock on the door. (The truck wasn't the only reason we knocked on the door though we just felt like we needed too) He
opened the door and let us right in. We only talk for a minute but we have an appointment for tomorrow which should be great! He has met Mormons before when he lived in Cali and seemed a little bit excited to see us! We have high hopes for him and his family!

Well sorry it's short! Have a great week.
Love Elder Roper

Elder Roper & Elder Elzie