Monday, November 24, 2014

I Know My Savior Lives

Buenas tardes a todos :)
         Sounds like you all had a great week! It was a great week here too :) Remember how last week we didn’t find anybody? Well this week we found the BEST family. The Pillaca family :) GOLDEN. We had contacted them in the street a few weeks ago and set up an appointment and we went and nobody answered. We kept going back and nobody ever answered. Well, this week we were walking past and some guy was delivering water so we jumped on the chance and she came out and was like, "Hey why haven’t you guys come over? We were waiting for you and you didn’t show up." Seriously?! It turns out that they live on the third floor and never heard us come :( But God has a plan and He wasn’t gonna let em get away :) We had two lessons with them this week. Their names are Jesus and Katy. Man that sounds so funny in English! It’s cooler in Spanish lol.  Anyway... They love everything! We took them to the church Saturday night to have a tour thingy and they came to church Sunday all three hours! And we didnt have to beg them to stay! Like I said, GOLDEN. But here’s the catch. They’re not married. They have the cutest little boy and Katy loves everything we say about eternal families. Tomorrow we´ll see them again :) Why didn’t we find them three months ago??? 
         Gerardo on the other hand.... Is a snake. Snake, in mission terms, pretty much means he’s a creeper. So much for our perfect investigator. Once he found out I’m leaving in a week, he just started being super weird and sending us messages and saying he’s gonna throw a goodbye party for me. We were with a member in the lesson and she left the lesson with us and started laughing her head off lol. So the Elders in the ward might start teaching him now. He really is great, just needs a stronger testimony of the church :) He’s still trying to quit smoking and drinking as well. 
         Overall it was a good week. There’s other stuff that happened but since this is the last email I’ll send on my mission, I mostly just wanna tell you all how much I love you! It’s a lot of mixed feelings lately. I’m feeling so blessed, but also sad to leave, but so excited to see you all and wow! It’s just crazy. But it has been theeee best experience of my life. The best, hardest, most rewarding experience. When I think about where I’d be if I wouldn’t have come, I just freak myself out. I’m so grateful that my Heavenly Father loved me enough to give me this opportunity. He knew what I needed, even if I didn’t. I remember being so unsure about the decision, and when I got here, I was even more confused! I remember thinking, "Hey Heavenly Father. Are you there? You’re the one who told me to come here, so why is it so hard??...." And I remember feeling like He didn’t answer me. But He did. In so many ways. He let me struggle a little bit so I could come to know Him. And I have. I have come to know that He loves me SO much. I now KNOW the church is true. No doubt about it. I thought it was true before, but now I KNOW. I wouldn’t know that if I hadn’t decided to come here. For anyone who is even slightly thinking about a mission, GO. It’s hard. Really hard. But SO worth it. I know it’s been hard, but I honestly can’t remember the bad times. But I remember the good times PERFECTLY. I’m not quite sure how it works, but it’s true. Man, I could ramble on forever about how grateful I am, but I’m about out of time. 
         I know my Savior lives. I know He loves me. And I know He suffered for me so that I can have eternal life. Without Him, we honestly have nothing. He is always there to help us. We just have to accept Him. His hand is always reaching towards us. To lift us. To help us. And to show us the way. 
         Well, I’ll wrap it up. I love you all so much! My eternal family :) I’m so blessed. See you all next week! :) 

Hermana Roper 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stop Sucking on Her Hair!

Hermana Roper will be arriving back in Utah on December 3rd.  She will be speaking in the Ferron Millsite Ward on Sunday, December 14th at 11:00 AM.  Thank you for all of the support these past 18 months! We appreciate it so much!

Hello there everyone :)
         This week.... Was fast. Super fast. But it was good :) It also had a lot of interesting moments... but it was good :)
         The bummer is that our investigators just stopped progressing. After we taught Gerardo the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity, things have gone down hill.... He still wants to change and get baptized, I just think he’s a little discouraged thinking it’s gonna be really hard. He thinks he can’t quit smoking, but I know he can. It will just take time. It’s so hard though because if he didn’t have these problems with the Word of  Wisdom, he could be baptized tomorrow. He’s the perfect investigator, but he needs some time to change :)
         Mary and Bill are progressing, but not as much as they were at first. So that’s a bummer, but they’ll come around :)
         This week we really just struggled finding new investigators. Guess how many we found?!...... Zero. But we contacted a lot of people that seemed great. We have appointments with lots of them this coming week :)
         We did have an experience that was kinda hard. My companion was SO bummed. I’m kinda used to this área and people just shutting us down, but my companion still takes it super hard. We were in a lesson with a less active girl, teaching about missionary work. Hermana Valencia says, "But you can do missionary work in your own family" and the little girl, Camila, says, "But everyone’s members!" Well, her aunt just happened to be in the room as well.... And her aunt haaaates the church. She never leaves us alone in the lessons because she loves making mean comments haha. But this time she stood up and was like, "I am NOT a member! And I never will be because this church is NOT true! And this church should NOT be telling kids they should go on missions!" I think Hermana Valencia wanted to cry. She just looked at me and whispered, "I don’t like her...." Yep... Me either. It was rough. But there’s people who will accept the Gospel and those that won’t. God’s promise though, is that all will get the opportunity to do so, but only if they WANT to. Obviously she does not want to... For now, anyway...
         We did have an awesome conference with Elder Evans though :) That was so needed! As a mission, we struggle a lot finding new people. We pretty much talked about how to find investigators and how to talk WITH people, not AT people. He helped us a lot. He corrected us, but with love :) haha. Conferences like this always strengthen my testimony. When a General Authority is here, you can FEEL the power he has.
         It was cool though because he told us all, "If everyone one of you ask every single person you talk to tonight for a referral, you WILL see results." Let’s be honest, I suck at asking for referrals. But we did it. And we did see results :) We were contacting on the street, and asked if they knew someone who could use our message? At first she gave us the usual answer.... No. But then she was , "There is a little old lady that’s sick that could use some help." She gave us the direction and we’re gonna go back tomorrow :) It was pretty great.
         Then yesterday we ate with the bishop and asked him for a referral and he said this Wednesday night if we come over, him and his wife will be ready with referrals :) It was so neat! When Elder Evans told us to ask for referrals, my first thought was, "They never give us referrals, but whatever. We can try..." haha but he was right :) We saw success.
         Okay the weird things that happened.... I ate cuy. Do you know what that is? Google it. And I didn’t really like it. It was kinda, actually, really gross. But we smiled and said it tasted great :) haha
         Also, I had a little girl sucking on my hair. I mean, I’m used to people constantly touching my hair because they think it’s so weird, but this time I was a little caught off guard when I thought the little girl was just touching it and her mom yells, "Hey! Stop sucking on her hair!" It’s like us gringas are from a different planet...
         Well, that’s my week! Talk to you next week :) And see you in TWO! Yay! Love you all soooo much! :) See you soooon :)

Hermana Roper

Monday, November 10, 2014

Never Ever Pick Up A Kitty

         It’s been a good week here :) We didn’t find a single new investigator :( But ya know what? Its all gonna work out.  The area is progressing little by little. We’ve had ward council TWO weeks in a row! That’s a big step. 
         Also, Gerardo is doing great. He came to church yesterday but only for the first hour so his date is now for the 29th :( But the thing that is great is that he is reading the Book of Mormon. And he understands. And he loves it! A family in the ward invited him to a family home evening tonight so that should be good :) it’s sad, because he usually sits just with us or the elders because the ward just is kinda cold, if that makes sense. But he is progressing a lot. He said this week that he is going to quit smoking and drinking. It’s hard because all of his friends and family drink. But he wants to change. And I believe he will :) God helps us do things we never thought possible. 
        One bummer is that Mary has been with her brother-in-law in the hospital all week and we haven’t been able to have a lesson with them. She couldn’t come to church either so that means she won’t be baptized till at least December. But she is still excited about things. Things just haven’t gone her way this week. 
         We did rescue a less active family this week though :) Well, two of them. The Paredes Family. They’re the best. They have been through A LOT as a family. But they’re in a good place now :) They are even planning on going to the temple at the end of the month! Not to get sealed, but to do baptisms. But it’s still so great! We’ve seen a lot of changes in them. That made the week so great to know that two more of God’s children have come back to the church :)
         God can change people completely! I’ve thought a lot about that this week. I mean, look at the changes he’s made in our family. He has changed so much. But it’s all been for the better. And the way He usually changes people is by giving them trials. One sister talked in church yesterday and talked about the trials God has given her. We ate lunch with them yesterday as well, and they are seriously the best! Her first trial was helping her husband change. He was a scary dude haha. He still looks scary with all his tats and huge muscles and motorcyle lol, but he’s the best. She said it took 5 years for him to change. They finally got married and then she found out she couldn’t have kids. She was SO sad. It was the hardest thing she’s gone through. These past 9 months they have been trying to adopt this abandoned baby. They almost had custody of him. They had bought his crib, decorated his room, everything. Then a couple of doctors came along and they got custody of him. She said it was so hard to accept. She said that she asked, "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" but she knew that God gives us trials because he’s preparing us for something even better. With the storm, He´s guiding us to our promised land :) They are my favorite couple here. The funniest, coolest, most inspiring couple I’ve met here. 
         They also love us. And they show that love with food. A huuuuuge plate of food and FOUR desserts. Do they not understand the Six-Month-To-Sexy Sister Missionary Diet? And now family home evening with them tonight.... Oh no... maybe four more desserts :( 
         Okay this week was kinda funny too. I learned a BIG lesson. NEVER ever ever pick up a kitty in Peru. Even if it’s alone, and cold, and sad. Because it will be diseased and you will be sick. Lesson learned haha. We were walking back to our room and I found a kitty. And it made me sad. So I picked it up and tried to help. Then we took it to feed it real quick and buy milk and thought nothin of it. Well, the next mornin I woke up feeling like crap! Fever, runny nose, sore throat, you name it. Freaking kitty. Never again. But hey. Hopefully the kitty´s okay right? Right. So don’t worry mom, I won’t be bringing any kitties home from Peru....
         Anyway, gotta go. Hope you all have a great week! See you in THREE weeks! So happy you all cleaned my room :) yay! Good job guys :) haha! Love you all so much! See you sooooooon! 

Hermana Roper 
One last night with Hermana Arce.  Love this girl!

The bugs in Peru are HUGE!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

He Will Heal Us

Buenas tardes! :)
         Love the Halloween pictures :) Haidyn’s costume fits her perfectly lol. But looks like it was a success :)  This week has been a good one over here as well. I mean, it had its moments that weren’t all that great, but more great moments than bad ones :)
         Remember Mary and Bill? They have a baptismal date! For the 22nd :) Yay! The only bummer is that Mary needs to get married. Her son is good to go, but it would be so amazing to see them baptized as a family. 
          Wanna know something suuuuper amazing?! We were in the lesson with Mary and Bill and asked if they had read their Book of Mormon. They had :) They started asking a bunch of questions about Nephi and his brothers and we were surprised. But here’s the amazing part. Bill says, "Well, I only read 8 chapters, but my dad finished the whole book in one day." WHAT?! I’ll be honest. I didn’t believe him. But he was like, "No really! He’s a doctor and loves to read! He stayed up reading it!" So I thought maaaaybe it was possible, but we had never talked with the dad so we didn’t know if it could be true.
         Guess what though? We finally talked to her husband! This weekend, because of the holidays, it was hard to find people. We were walking around and randomly ran into Mary and her kids and she whispers to us, "My husband’s coming..." like she wanted us to talk to him haha. So we start talking and he was really great. I was kinda scared as he was approaching thinking, "Please don’t say something dumb and screw this up" but we started talking about how much he hates english and ended up laughing and it was great. Then he started asking us things about the Book of Mormon. He was like, "I read a little bit of it....." But then he started asking us stuff about it and it was obvious that he really read. He loved reading about when Christ came to the Americas. He said, "I don’t attend a church, but this stuff you’re teaching is really new. It’s kinda hard to accept for someone who has been raised Catholic. But I want my family in the church. One day I’ll go too." Told you! It was a miracle! He said he’s scared. He said he’d feel uncomfortable going to church because he wants to know more, but we’ll get him to come :) 
         I was honestly just SO amazed. I have complete confidence that he will come to church. Someone who reads the Book of Mormon WILL feel the Spirit and WILL know its true. If he can just apply what he read, we’ll be good to go :)
         Gerardo is doing good as well. The thing with him though is that it’s suuuuper hard for him to understand. It’s like teaching a little kid. He has all of the desires in the world, but as far as knowledge goes, he knows nothing about God or Christ and we’ve had to start really simple. He’ll be baptized, but we want him to understand and have a testimony. He came to church Sunday though for all 3 hours :) He’s really doing great. I know God will help him understand the things we are teaching. 
Things are good though :) 
         There was one bad part of the week though.... Hermana Arce is going home :( I’m so bummed. But I know God has a plan for her. Another tender mercy that I received this week was being able to spend one last day with her. Thursday she called and said she was going home. I thought I wouldn’t be able to see her again, but then Hermana Rowley called and asked if I could stay in the mission home with her Thursday. HECK YES! Her companion and mine went to pack Hermana Arce’s stuff and we sat and talked for hours. She’s just super confused. She has epilepsy and has just been passing out randomly in the street and finally President said she needed to go home. It was so sad :( She was so sad. One question she asked me as we were talking was, "If Jesus healed so many people and did so many miracles, why can’t He heal me?" We talked a lot about it and realized that He already has healed her. He has healed every one of us. Maybe not how she wanted, but spiritually He has healed her. If we let Him, he will heal us. He is there waiting to help us. But keep her in your prayers this week :) I know she’ll be okay, but it’s been a hard week. 
         Everything else is good though. The countdown is on! One month! It’s so weird. But I’m ready to make this month the best one yet :)
LOVE YOU ALL! See you in four weeeeeeks :)

Hermana Roper 

Monday, October 27, 2014

He Loves Us Personally!

Buenas tardes :) 
         This week was ten times better than last week! Hermana Valencia and I have clicked and have had so much fun but worked so hard :) She’s pretty much a newbie so it’s great because she does what I say ;) haha just kidding! I love it because she’s so ready to learn. She still struggles a bit with the schedule, but she’s still adjusting so I’m trying to understand and be patient with that. I just have to remember how I felt when I had 3 months and it makes it a lot easier. She is hilarious though and we have spent this week laughing :) 
         I am SO excited about one investigator. Gerardo :) He is SO ready! It’s almost too good to be true. There’s gotta be some problem.... But really. It was the best. I was inviting him to be baptized and before I could even finish the invitation he was like, "Yes! When? Tomorrow I’m busy and the day after tomorrow as well, but just tell me when." We were both in shock just like, is this really happening right now? He came to church Sunday by himself and loved it. He only stayed for 2 hours though so he needs to attend 3 more times :( But wow, it was a great week seeing him progress.
         I was thinking a lot about how we even found Gerardo. Cool story. One day we were running late to an appointment. We were supposed to be in two places at once. Jhenciano was taking us to meet his brother, and we were supposed to teach a convert at the same time. I don’t know how it happened but we just happened to have two members with us. So I decided we’d do divisions. I went with Jhenciano to visit his brother with a member and Hermana Ordoñez went to the convert. During the lesson with Jhenciano’s brother, Gerardo walked in. We invited him to listen and I remember the lesson with him was so great. He got emotional and asked us if we could visit him. I have no idea what happened but we could not find his house for like two weeks! We went to find it and they told us that they didn’t know anyone named Gerardo. We were bummed thinking he had given us the wrong address, but then one day Jhenciano was like, "Hey Gerardo wants to know why you haven’t visited him." Jhenciano took us to show us where he lived. It’s just amazing to see how God was there in every single moment. It’s not coincidence. God really does put people in our paths. 
         And remember Ana? She now has a baptismal date in November! She pretty much just has problems with her family. They’re all really Catholic. She’s scared to tell them her decision. But I know she can do it :)
         We have really been blessed this week, and I feel it came from talking with families. With Hermana Ordoñez we were contacting, but not as much as we should have been. This new transfer has brought new animos though! Last week we talked with 14 families. I thought talking with so many families would mean we would have a ton of new investigators. Nope. We only had one. But the blessings came in other ways. We had three investigators at church, which is more than I’ve seen in my time here in Ignacio Merino. We have two with a baptismal date, which is also more than we’ve had here in a while. And we had 5 with a member, which is the highest number we’ve had in this area in more than 6 weeks. We were so blessed! Maybe not in the ways we thought, but we were blessed. I remember we walked around Tuesday and Wednesday as appointments fell through and people weren’t home. We were bummed, and it wasn’t the best way to start off the transfer, but we kept going and were able to see miracles :)
         With all the contacting, of course we found some crazies haha. We were contacting a lady and some mean lady looked at us with this awful look and screamed, "Don’t change your religion!! Those Mormons have seven wives!!!" And the lady we were contacting looked at us and was like, "What did she say?" and we were just like, "Uhh... We have no idea..." haha there’s always opposition, but it was kinda funny this time :) The best part is that we keep seeing that same crazy lady like every day! Next time we’re gonna contact her ;)
         Also Mary is progressing so well! And her son Bill! They came to church Sunday. Her and four of her kids :) It was SO great! She needs to get married first, but Bill is so ready. We’re gonna see what we can do this week. Maybe there’s a matrimonio massivo coming up and she can get married for free. :) That would be great!
         Anyway, God loves us. That’s all there is to it. We will never understand how much he loves us. I’ve been able to understand this a lot more in the mission. He loves us personally :) I KNOW it! 
        And I love you all :) Hope you have the best week. See you in fiiiiive! :) 

Hermana Roper 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Never Lose Your Faith

Hellloooo! :) 
         Love the pictures Haidyn! But just so you know, those are still MY high heels. NOT yours! And all of my other stuff better be right where I left it or you’re gonna be in trouble ;) haha
         Sounds like everything’s going great in good ole Ferron :) Things are great here too. It’s definitely gotten a lot hotter this week though! We can definitely tell summer is just around the corner :( But I'll be leavin just in time to miss it so whatever :)
         We had transfers today as well. My companion got transferred to Tumbes, which is like the area that’s really out in the middle of nowhere. She'll be 6 hours away :( But I’m here with Hermana Valencia from Lima. She’s 19. This is the first time in my whole mission that I’m the older companion! But it should be fun :) She just got out of her training with Hermana Stringham so I’m excited :) New missionaries always want to work more.
         This week though... Was just not our week. "Hay semanas buenas... Y hay semanas peores." The bed bugs came back with a bang! We spent half of the week cleaning and washing clothes. I have never hand washed so many clothes in my life! Okay wait... Let's be honest. I’ve never hand washed clothes in my life haha. That’s probably why I have blisters! But nobody has washers so we boiled water to wash our clothes. Mom.... I will never complain about having to hang up or wash clothes. And if I do you have permission to beat me. But anyway... This time, instead of us spraying raid all over the room, some guy came with his cool equipment and sprayed down the room. But we couldn’t go in for like 2 days so we were homeless again :( And it was sad because it just happened to be Hermana Ordoñez’s birthday lol. So she spent her birthday cleaning and washing clothes... But we did have fun too :) 
         Anyway, besides the bed bugs, it was still a bummer week. Nobody wanted us :( It was kinda discouraging. We would walk up to people to contact them and they would seriously just look at us with a look like, "What the heck do you want?" and walk away 
:( I mean, sometimes that happens. But this week it happened allllll week! And all of our appointments kept falling through and ahhhh! Frustrating. But we also have seen miracles, like always! :) 
         Jhenciano came to church again! :) And he loved it :) He’s mostly having problems with his family. They are all in a different church and they hate us. So they’re kinda discouraging him. But we're tryin to help him out. He even stayed all three hours Sunday! It was really a miracle. 
          We also started teaching Jhenciano’s nephew, Geraldo. He’s 30ish and is just the perfect investigator. Almost too good to be true! He was just like, "I want to change, but I just need some help." Hey hey hey! We can help! We can help! :) We'll see how it goes with him :) He’s single though so we won’t have any problems with him having to get married. That’s always a bonus :) 
         Ana is also another investigator that we have that’s really great. She had a baptismal date before, but then broke up with her boyfriend and was sad, so she disappeared for a while. But she’s good now and called us up and is ready to go :) She’s 20 and just great. Her mom also hates us though.... Moody moms. Gotta love em.
         There’s also a less active family we’re teaching (they’re the ones where that guy died in the lesson...They finally accepted us!) The Facundo Family. There’s 7 kids. And the mom and dad are separated. But Saturday we had the first lesson with everyone :) It was so great. The kids are the cutest kids ever! We sang "I am a child of God" and it was so cute to hear all of them just screaming at the top of their lungs, "Soy un hijo de Dios!!" :) It was the best. Tender mercies :)
         I was also reading this week in the Book of Mormon in Alma when him and Amulek are preaching to the people and are just rejected.  I know it wasn’t a coincidence that I just happened to be reading that part in the Book of Mormon this week. It helped me a lot. There are days (or weeks) where nobody wants us, but hey, at least I’m not getting beaten and starved for preaching the Gospel. Alma and Amulek gave up everything! And they never lost their faith. They kept going :) and they had success :) We can have success here, too. I just know it. We can’t get down. We've gotta keep going. If we are bummed, how are we supposed to tell people that our message is one of happiness?? We've just gotta stay positive and see the little miracles :)
         I’m excited for this transfer. Can’t believe it’s my last one, but I’m grateful that I get to stay here in Ignacio Merino :) We’re gonna have a great transfer. I just know it!
         Hope you all have a great week :) See you in 6 weeeeeeeeks! Love you all SO much!

Hermana Roper

Monday, October 13, 2014

God And His Easy Plan

Hellooooo! :) 
         Who’s a happy girl because she got to see conference? ME! It was great :) And I got to see it in English for the first time in tooooo long. That was the greatest :) Pretty much here only the missionaries show up and the members only come on Sunday morning, but it was still fun. 
Wow I learned so much though! I left my notes in our room, but I remember my favorite talk was one about spiritual confidence from a guy that I can’t remember how to say his name. Jorg or something? But wow. He spoke very boldly. It was just great. It made me think a lot about the changes I need to make and who I want to be. 
         I don’t remember who said it, but someone said that God will never make us into something we don’t choose to become. LOVED that. He’s not going to make decisions for us. But He will help us become who He knows we can be. We just need to do something so He at least has somethin to work with. I just loved conference! I remember when I thought it was boring....
         Okay for the first time this transfer we had an investigator at church! haha he came to conference Sunday. His name is Genciano. That was great :) He’s an older man, to put it nicely, and when I got here I wanted to stop visiting him, but I’m glad we didn’t. He’s comin around. Slowly, but surely :) 
         We are also teaching a new family. Mary Agurto. She’s the neighbor of some less actives we´re trying to rescue and is SO amazing. I won’t lie. Walkin into her house I was SO humbled. It stinks beyond belief because of the animals running around, and I was scared to sit on her couch after all the bed bugs we´ve had, but the spirit I felt in that humble home can’t even be described. We´re teaching her, her 15 year old son, Bill, and her other two daughters that are 12 and 7.  Her husband won’t come out, but we´ll see this week. They love what we are teaching, but her and her husband aren’t married. And money will obviously be an issue. But I know God knows what He´s doing and He knows how they can do it. 
         Sujail on the other hand is just bugging us. She will not do ANYTHING. She wants to go to church, but doesn’t wake up. She wants to read, but doesn’t have time. She wants to go to the temple, but needs to be baptized, but she can’t get baptized because she doesn’t read and doesn’t go to church! Can you see the problem?? Man. Women! But we´ll see what happens this week. It’s just frustrating. We know the Gospel brings happiness, but why are we so darn lazy sometimes? God has made His plan as easy as I think He possibly could. He wants us to succeed. But we have to do our part :) What Sujail needs is a trial to bring her closer to God :) 
         One last thing before I run out of time. Thank you SO much mom and dad for all you’ve done. Conference really made me realize just how blessed I have been my whole life. You two have raised us in a home filled with LOVE. I’ve never questioned the love you have for us. You have taught us all the things we need to do, and you have always been there. I know it hasn’t been easy to raise us three brats, but you made it look like a piece of cake. Thank you SO much! I always knew my family was the best, but being here in a place where a loving family is so rare, I now KNOW without a doubt, my family is the best. Love you both sooo much :)
         Well, it’s been a good week :) Hope you all have a great week! Talk to you next week and see you in seven! woot woot :) Love you all! 

Hermana Roper