Thursday, July 31, 2014

Well we had a pretty good week with a lot of ups and downs...

Good Morning,

I can't believe that Alex is leaving for his mission tomorrow. I feel like he just barely got his call, didn't he? But that is awesome and he is going to do a good job as a missionary, companion and leader. It'll change his life in a lot of positive ways. I am really excited to hear about some of the cool miracles that he sees in Peru.

Well we had a pretty good week, still a lot of ups and downs, but that is normal for a mission really. There were a couple of days where everything that we planned and back up planned fell through and we were at a loss of what we should do. The one cool thing about days like that though is there is always a tender mercies hiding behind the struggle. For example on thursday we were tracting for a good bit of the day and no doors opened, not even a door opened so we could have the chance to be rejected or accepted. So we were feeling a little down since nothing was working out and the day seemed to keep going on. Luckily we had a set appointment with R. and D., hallelujah!! But when we went over they weren't home either... so we knocked a few more doors until about 8:30. We went over to R. and D's again and they had just gotten home. So R. came outside and we set up a few chairs on our porch and started reading the Book of Mormon together. We were only about 5 minutes in and D. and his son walk around the corner. So we had a little reading group. We read 1 Nephi 1 and 2 together and it felt like a family scripture study. D. son wanted to keep reading, but we had to finish up since it was getting late. But probably the two coolest things that happened with that were these. We found out that D. has been trying to read the Book of Mormon with his family every night. Like everyone he said it is tough to do consistently because of crazy schedules, but his son, who is about 7 or 8 loves reading the BoM and he, no matter if his family does or not, reads it every night by himself. I can't even express how awesome that is. We told the Ward about it and so they are ordering him one of those Book of Mormon story books so he can look at the pictures too. (Secretly we wanted that for them so R. could read from it too :) But then the other cool thing is that we asked if we could come by the next night to read it with their family again and they were all for that, until R. remembered a conflict they all had. In response, D. held up the scriptures and said "Yeah, but not much comes before this." I am just so grateful for them and their faith. We love them a lot.  It was a huge tender mercy to have that scripture study with them that day. It was a testimony to me that all the sacrifices in the world that we make and all the struggles we go through are worth it because of the feeling of God's love that you receive through the tender mercies  the Lord blesses us with. 

1 Nephi 1:20
But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

This week we got to go on exchanges with the Lafayette Elders, Elder White and Elder Madsen, and that was an awesome experience. They got double transferred into this area about 3 weeks ago and they have been working super hard. That is always a tough experience, but they are making the most of it and I know that they are going to see some cool miracles that come from their efforts. I really respect and look up to Elder White. He is a hard working missionary and he wants nothing more than the best interests for the other missionaries. It is great to have him as our District Leader because the spirit is in every meeting. 

Yesterday something really cool happened as well. Eurick is a recent convert who has been working towards going on a mission and last week he received the Aaronic Priesthood. Well just yesterday was his first day of passing the sacrament and Elder King and I thought it was just the coolest experience. You could see how happy Eurick was and that made us happy. It is such a blessing to see the change that happens in people as they move forward in their conversion. Sometimes they can't see it in themselves, but as missionaries we are blessed to be able to see that often. 

Elder King and I decided that we hit the missionary jackpot. We are good friends and we have fun everyday. We love the ward and the ward loves us. And we get to share the gospel everyday. That is a huge blessing and my testimony is growing everyday. 

Well I better get going, but I thought I would leave yall with some good pictures of me that you could instagram. I can only promise maybe 500 likes, but we will see haha. I love you guys a lot and I am grateful everyday that I I have been so blessed to have yall in my life. Thank you!

Prayers and thoughts always,

Elder Devin Soper

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