Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So much has gone down...lots of thoughts and happenings and changes of scene...so in order to not bore you...and myself...ima just do some bullets:

-I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! Everyday I think of more reasons a can't leave this country and being a full-time missionary. And time is passing so fast it's gross.
-Soooo...saying 'bye' to Bangna was sad  but wonderful. The ward and area have grown and the people who are learning the gospel and preparing for baptism right now are wonderful and progressing well. What a wonderful way to leave an area:). 
-I got assigned to open a new area in a busy busy part of northern Bangkok.. called Don Muaeng and LagSii. It's never had sisters before....3 branches that meet in the biggest, newest, most beautiful building in Thailand (literally, they're like way proud of it). I feel so lucky! The members are so excited to have sisters in this area. We got like 10 pounds of food our first day at church from people we don't even know. Thai people are so giving:) 
-We have the most well-functioning branch president slash missionary leader....does SO much for the missionaries...i feel like we are helpers instead of leaders/causers in the branch mission efforts...like PMG and every handbook in the church says:)
-I'm training again, this time a Thai sister. Wow!!! What a difference training an American and a Thai is lol. Sister Wiganda is wonderful, she's a 'go about doing good without having to be asked' type person, which is really refreshing. She thanks me all the time for 'being a good trainer,' but I truly feel like she is training me, about Thai and about missionary work and working through members and loving them and building relationships of trust with them. It's really interesting being about to see the Thai side of missionary work. I feel like little by little I'm understanding Thai people more and more and a feel more and more in love with them every day. I looove how quickly you love people on a mission.
-President and Sister Smith are going home next month:(. I'll miss them. New presidents will open up new opportunities, though, so I'm look forward to what's in store.
-Heavenly Father has blessed me with so many things. Recently I've been thinking about how I can strengthen my prayers. I ran across a scripture in Moroni that hit me a different way this time around. 7:48 says to "pray...with all the energy of heart." I feel like I do this often; I have lots of needs, lots of things i need to change and improve, other people I need to pray for and so forth. But it hit me this time around that I pray with the most energy of heart when I am asking or pleading....I realized that I need to pour out my soul in gratitude, pray with real energy of heart in gratitude.

I am so grateful for my blessings. There are so many every day, it's insane. Thank you for all of you love and support. Every one of you. You are a big part of my blessings that I am most grateful for:).

Sister Roper

Okay so I'm not really the type to write too much about investigators abut i have to update about Galuu.
Every time we taught him for five days or so, we'd walk into a cloud of smoke in his apartment and a big think of alcohol on his desk. So we finally taught the word of wisdom the fourth time we saw him. And he accepted on the spot. I honestly was nervous before. Thought he'd be like, "Okay well there's the door. Peace." But i had a strong feeling to teach it so we just jumped into teaching it. Because...
I hope that made sense...:)
Then he came to church. We walked with him from his apartment to the church  and pushed his wheelchair and the whole time he was so happy. He is the happiest person I have every met. Has the biggest smile and big white teeth. And he's in pain all the time. And he fell out of his wheelchair when someone was pushing him too fast this past week....and took himself to the hospital. But didn't complain or anything...we had to like squeeze it out of him why he wasn't answering his phone. And then we saw his wound from falling out and it was so big:(. But he just kept smiling.
And remember how on that day I was so grumpy and hungry and tired and had a headache. TOTALLY did NOT deserve to meet such a man as Galuu. So prepared and humble and wonderful. He's getting baptized in a few weeks and I'm sad I won't be here. But I'll see him again...and by that time he'll be walking:).
I love you all. The gospel changes lives. And mine every day. Let it change yours. Just try a little harder and it will sink right in once we open the door.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Oh my a very humbling experience yesterday...always love those even if they sting a little...

So Sister Skalla asked me this week: "Do you ever feel guilty that we don't really keep the Sabbath Day Holy?" Haha isn't that funny? Guilty as in because we work work work all day, and really don't have any "rest" at all in some respect. I kind of just laughed...and moved on studying because she's like half right. Usually Sunday consists of church (which is great) and then teaching in the heat of the day and going to visit some investigators who didn't make it to church unfortunately, so there's room for sometimes a little disappointment on Sundays. And yesterday we were a bit hungry and it was the end of a week so a little tired, too. So just when I was kinda feeling a little selfish and realizing that it's true what they say, missions aren't just fairytales and butterflies...to say the least...Heavenly Father lovingly reminded how blessed I am and how grateful I should be....by giving me this experience:

A member named Yuy (who I love and am trying my hardest to get her on a mission because she's 26, awesome, and single) helped us teach at 6. And by 7 we had about 30 mins until we had to be home. So we took her home and said we wanted to use these last 30 minutes by praying and then finding someone in her apartment complex who needed the gospel....We were excited and nervous and kind of had like nervous butterflies but I was excited because experiences like this ALWAYS give me a faith booster because it's like the purest form of missionary work. Just goin' out with your tag and testimony.

Yuy's neighbor always has really loud music on. And it's usually really sad songs. So she figured he had a broken heart, even though she's never met him before. So we started with him. There were 20 apartments on her floor and only one had a ramp in front of it...and it was this guy's but I didn't know why until he opened the door. I was expecting some kinda rude and disinterested man who would be mad we knocked. But instead, after we knocked, music went off and a hopeful voice say from inside said, "Who is it?" And I said, "Missionaries for Jesus Christ." And he asked again so I said it again. And then he said to come in, and I didn't know why he didn't come to the door himself (probably lazy, I figured), and so we opened it. And then I saw that he was in a wheelchair. Both of his legs are paralyzed and the mobility in one of his hands. Oh my and it was like my selfish and premonition-filled charity-less and faithless scales just fell off and I just immediately felt so sorry. For how I'd misjudged him and not been excited to be a missionary for a second and that I had made assumptions without knowing him. Gaaluu welcomed us in. He loved the message about Christ, said he had wanted to be Christian as soon as he became disabled 7 years ago (I don't know how yet) but didn't really know what to do or how to do it, he'd just heard that for some reason this Christ was merciful to everyone. 

And he needed mercy.We told him we could help him come unto Christ and be healed in his life. We gave him a picture of the Savior holding a lamb on our way out. And he kissed it:).

Oh my I love my Savior. I love that He heals physically, and even more important, spiritually. I am so grateful He loves us even though we've done nothing at all do deserve it, except be his younger brothers and sisters. I was just filled with so much love for Him and so much gratitude for the opportunity to do His work and be a little tiny part of sharing His message and restored gospel. I'm so grateful for the mercy He showed me last night by helping me realize how much I have to be grateful for, to be on a mission and have these precious opportunities to bring others unto Christ and draw closer to Him while doing it. I'm so blessed:)

Okay, I love you all! 
Sister Roper

Friday, May 4, 2012

"The hearts of the children will turn to their fathers"

Great week! Missionary work is so fun!!! We've been teaching about family history since a Zone training on it...I'll be honest, I didn't really see how much we could use family history in missionary work since there are so many other things to teach. Well Grandma and Grandpa Smith and Aunt Pat....I LOVE IT! The Spirit of Elijah is real. We have taught several less active members, investigators, and recent converts about family history and it is amazing how immediately the Spirit comes.
The Assistants to the President promised that family history will CHANGE Thailand. Isn't that so cool? I know it's true, too. I can feel it. Many people in Thailand pay a lot of respect to their ancestors (escpecially through Buddhist practices), so there is already a built in love and honor towards ancestors...far more than there is in America, I feel like. So perffect....family history will change this country!!! Everyone should take a gander through familysearch.org this week:)
To answer your question, Daddy:
My favorite thai food is this dish called khaaw man guy. It means rice cooked in chicken juice and then chicken breast on it. That's it...plus this delicious sauce from heaven. Second favorite is cashew chicken:) third is mangostiens and somtam (papaya salad). least favorite....hmmmmm blood? or crickets?  or pig neck (i could like still see the hairs on it...sickis). I didn't really like either of those...as you may have guessed. The food in Thailand really is soo delicious, though. What they say is true.
Okay I love you all. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and I thank you with all my soul for you love and friendship and support! I'm praying for you back!!
Sister Roper

I am a professional boxer

Well...almost. Joshy have you heard of Muay Thai fighting? It's like boxing...but not (honestly I have no idea what the difference is). So we (Sister Supansa is with us for two weeks, a khon Thai who extended her mission for two weeks...which PS has been awesome. She's so fun and I'm learning a TON from her...it's sometimes nice to have someone older than me in the mission again for sure. And she's just an awesome, very loving and caring missionary) We went to this famous Muay Thai fighting gym and just did like an intro training session for an hour and a half. Oh my sooo fun. I wore boxing gloves and everything (Ash-Jaxson would be proud, huh!) and kicked the punched and even kicked a punching bag. And a person. I kept saying, "Oh I'm sorry! Did that hurt?" And they would just laugh (the training coaches) because 1. Obviously it DIDN'T hurt..I'm like the weakest kicker on the planet...and a girl....and blonde...and whatever. And 2. Because if it DID hurt, that would probably be a sign that I was doing something right hahaha so they wouldn't be mad. For heaven's sake it's a fighting gym. Anyway...It was very fun.
Also, Sister Skalla's bike broke so there were 3 missionaries...and two bikes. And 6 hours of work to do....So we took turns sitting on the back and waving to all those we passed. Haha we were quite the sight.
I miss Songkraan. It's hotter than like...the hottest thing you can think of. Warm up your brainies and fill in the blank.

This week was just really wonderful. I love teaching the gospel. I really do. It makes me dizzy to think of how quickly time is passing. I've basically and happily forgotten how to text, do make up more than mascara, speak English correctly (or type correctly, holy hannah please forgive me)....among other things. I feel like the same person and a new person and a different person all in once.
Don't know where the halfway marker is but people say it's passed recently...so I'd say the things I've learned and loved the most prominently in the last few months include: One. just a simple yet really deep love for serving my Heavenly Father. Despite any kind of possibly negative or trying experience, I love that I can say that this is all for Him regardless of what happens. I love Him. Second is an awakened and much more profound love and respect towards the Book of Mormon. I love it. It is so powerful and wonderful and unique and true. Third is a gratitude for the family, especially for mine. It's the best in the world:). I love you all:).
Okay...Be strong and noble and kind and true and loving and smiling and peace-filled and grateful.
Sister Roper