Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I am getting transferred tomorrow...

Dear Family,

So I might not have too much more to write this week since I was able to tell you guys a lot of it on skype! Which was so awesome. And I have to say that I really did enjoy that a lot and was really satisfying. I really felt like I was able to be completely myself as I was talking to you and I haven't really felt that in full on my mission ever. It was a good feeling and a fulfilling conversation. And I wasn't overwhelmed at all, I just loved it. We only have the opportunity to do that a few times and I loved getting as much information as I could while we had the chance. I was so nice to be able to talk to you face to face since a lot of the times over email we don't get the same effect. Haha it is true that Elder Gentry and I could have had a pretty rough companionship, but somehow despite the odds we have become really great friends and he is somebody that I will always remember. I will say that we became most unified when we recognized each others differences and accepted each other for who we are. Once that happened we were just able to have fun. You have to be really humble though haha and just realize that everyone has problems and we just need to be patient.

Yeah at first this mission was kind of a shock to the system in how radically different the culture is. There have been times that I just can't believe what I am seeing. But even within the trouble there are always those diamonds in the rough. We have met some people that look rough and gruff, but that understand and know the scriptures and are really intelligent. I have been pleasantly surprised a couple times at the knowledge and skills that a lot of these peeps have. I will say people down here are pretty resourceful in some really weird ways haha.There are still those people that have trouble finding their way in life and go to the wrong things to try to find it, there are a lot of those people. But still, there are still people to give you hope. And I am sorry that I told you guys about Baton Rouge... (how dangerous it is) I wasn't going to tell you, but Elder Gentry really wanted me to. And in all honesty I wouldn't worry because the Lord really does protect us. I have never really felt afraid for my safety and I definitely feel the prayers from people around the world. I really did love that talk so much and I have to say that I love you guys so much. You guys are my best friends and that really was a confirmation of the huge blessing yall are in my life. It is cheesy to say this haha, but there aren't really words to describe how much I love yall and how much I loved to talking to yall. It was crazy to see how much Taylor and Emma have grown and I just loved seeing all of your faces, it made me so happy. I will admit I had a hard time saying goodbye, not because it made me homesick, but I just realized how much I appreciate and love you guys. I have said that a lot haha, but it is true! It was so awesome and was a much needed emotional boost. It was so satisfying and awesome!

A couple things that are going on, is that I am getting transferred tomorrow. I don't know where I am going yet or what is really happening, haha I just know that I won't be here in Plaquemine anymore. That was pretty sad because I really fell in love with  this area and the people here. We just threw ourselves into it and the accepted us with open arms. It felt like home away from home and it kinda feels like I am leaving my family. But I guess this is what missionary work is and I will be able to use the knowledge that I have gained and use it in my next area. I am nervous but excited. So I will email you guys next P-day with the information and the new address, sound good? ...scawry...

But next week I will have a lot more news too haha. I will end with my Presidents Letter and maybe a couple pictures too.

"Well I am nervous, but excited to see the outcome of this transfer. I am sad to leave behind an area and people that I have fallen in love with by working with them. I am also sad to leave a companion that I have become such good friends with. But I have learned a lot here and I know that I will be able to carry that over into my new area. One thing Elder Gentry taught me, was to just love the area and companion you are currently in and with. Make your current your favorite. Thank you for letting me serve here!

I would just like to share a scripture that I really enjoyed in the Book of Mormon this week in Ether 12 verse 4:

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
I think this scripture captures "faith, hope and charity" really well and the even the purpose of this life on earth into the life after. When we believe in God, truly believe in God, we have a hope or trust of a "better world..a place at the right hand of God." Those are promises from Heavenly Father and we can completely trust him to keep those if we do our part. This hope only comes from faith which comes gradually and must be nurtured. But line upon line this faith will anchor us deeper and deeper in Christ. Also in the talk by Bishop Dean M. Davies in conference talks about how living the doctrine of Christ will anchor us or build our foundation on the Atonement. So that faith comes from living the Gospel. When we have this hope and faith we will live to glorify our Father in Heaven. As we progress in life by helping others, marrying in the Temple, raising righteous families, serving God and enduring to the end (etc.) we are "abounding in good works" and glorifying Heavenly Father. This scripture meant a lot to me and makes me want to live worthily and do all I can to follow the pattern this scripture lays out. I am loving reading Ether and am really getting a lot out of it.

We worked hard again this week and were able to pull off 19 lessons. And I think from being able to teach so many lessons in the past couple weeks the quality of the lessons has increased more than the quantity by comparison. We were able to solidify relationships, grow closer together with others through the scriptures and learn a lot through the spirit. It has been an awesome transfer."

Once again I loved talking to you guys so much! I just have to say thank you and I love you more than anything.

Prayers and thoughts always,

Your Budda Baby,

Elder Soper

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