Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Epistle 12.31.08

Happy new year everyone!

I've had a fantastic week, and a very blessed Christmas.

Christmas really started on Christmas Eve. The 4 Capitol Hill ward elders were invited over to the Degn families home for dinner on Christmas Eve. When we got there Brother Degn explained we would be having sort of a strange meal, consisting of Edamame, Stir Fry, and Pot-Stickers. While my companions weren't quite sure what foreign langauge Brother Degn was speaking... anyone who knows me very well would know that at this point I have a huge grin on my face, and feel like I just came home.

I had just been transferred to a new ward, and the family who had invited us over to dinner fixed what would be my favorite meal back home. If that's not a Christmas present from the Lord I don't know what is.

As if that's not enough, we have then had almost a full week of temperatures above 50 degrees, with sunshine... at the tail end of DECEMBER! It's been incredible, but we've felt blessed, and I feel like a lucky man. I essentially got my favorite food, followed by a week of my favorite weather. Not too hot, not too cold, and sunny. It's been a good time.

Other then that there is not too much to update you all on. The work continues. It's beautiful in the Capitol. Seeing that big dome as you bike around is an amazing thing. My companion and I are getting along well, and we have found that we have almost eerily similar personalities and quirks.

I love you all. And will leave you with a fun thought/testimony I had when asked to bear my testimony in my new ward.

The bulk of my testimony can be summed up in three names, which we say a lot, but rarely stop to think about.

The first is that God is our Heavenly Father.
The second is that Jesus is the Christ.
The Third is that this is, in fact, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

How often do we really stop and think about what those names mean?

God is the literal Father of our spirits. He has a relationship with us as His children. He cares about us, and the daily happenings in our lives. He cares when we stub a toe. None of our problems are too great or too small for Him, and He wants to hear about them through frequent prayer. I know that is true and I know that he answers our prayers in His way and His time, which are best for our Eternal progression.

Jesus is the Christ! He is our savior and our redeemer! Through his Atonement all of us can become better. We can work our way back home to live with our Heavenly Father. How grateful I am for Him, and for the knowledge I have been blessed to have of His true doctrine.

This is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is His church, with His authority. It is The only one! And it is established in the Latter Days, meaning that these are the final days before His triumphant return to the earth.

What a glorious message is contained within the simplicity of these three names: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I bear my humble witness that these things are true, and that I know them to be true.

I love you all and wish you the best year of your lives (yet) for 2009, and that each day may be the best of your life (yet).

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Epistle 12.24.08

Merry Christmas Eve my dear friends!

I have, in fact, been transferred. Remember a couple weeks ago when I was so excited to be e-mailing from the Library of Congress for the day? Well I'm there again, and this time it isn't an excursion! I now live just a few blocks from the Capitol building of the United States. We can see the building from our deck, and it's almost always present and visible as we bike around. It's really quite incredible!

I'm very excited about my new area, and expect a fun transfer ahead. I am still on a bike, and it is cold, but that's ok when you're on the Lord's errand!

My new companion is Elder Hayden. He is from Detroit, and says he had quite a culture shock when he got to DC by how many white people were here! He is white but apparently he's quite the minority in his hometown.

Well the library is closing soon. My new ward is amazing and I'm excited for a great transfer ahead. I love you all!
-Elder Ted E. Bear

Friday, December 19, 2008

Family Letter 12.3.08

* This is kind of an experiment - Elder Bear sends lovely handwritten letters home to his parents, and we'd like to include them on this blog, fancy hand writing and all! Unfortunately, when viewed on the blog page, the sides of the pages are cut off. The problem can be avoided by viewing the blog through a Reader, such as Google Reader. Alternately, you can click on the page images to be taken to the original album and view the pages there.

From Elder Ted E. Bear

From Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Epistle 12.17.08

*Elder Bear celebrated his own birthday this past weekend, just a day away from the birth of his first nephew. A very happy birthday to Elder Bear, and a very Merry Christmas!

Can't believe the year is almost over!

First things first, it is my Mom's Birthday on friday! Happy Birthday to her! This is a big birthday for her as she is turning 30! The big 3 decades! Or maybe she just looks 30... since beauty is ageless it is just so hard to remember how long this earth has been graced with her presence... never sure.

She thinks I should be a lawyer, I wonder why...

Things are really good here. I am probably moving on Saturday, and will find out for sure and where I'm going tomorrow night, which is exciting.

I've learned so much from Anacostia, and from my trainer. It has been an incredible time and I've loved (almost) every minute of it, and the few minutes I haven't loved in retrospect were the most important and valuable moments. Funny how that works in life.

One of the biggest things that I've learned is that I don't know very much when compared with the Lord. No matter how smart I am and no matter how much I know, I'll always be better off listening to the spirit, because God knows more! Simple, obvious things like that, which you've always known, but never learned can make a big difference once you truly learn them. And I like getting better.

This is a very short Preparation Day today, because transfers are on saturday instead of the normal Wednesday, we have two half P-days. Which means we have from 10am-1pm to get done laundry, shopping, e-mail and letters. NOT a lot of time!

I love you all. I know that this is the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know he loves me. I know he loves you. I know that because of his Atoning sacrifice we can become better children of our Heavenly Father every day, every hour, every minute, and every second of our lives, and I am exceedingly grateful for that, because I always want to be progressing, changing and getting better.

Merry Christmas!

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Epistle 12.10.08

Hello everyone!

Things are very good in the life of Elder Adams. We have some incredible investigators who practically teach themselves. It's a real joy to watch.

We've also been able to go up to the Festival of Lights a couple of times. The first time we saw the Suzuki Flute Ensemble. 92 young flute players... that's a lot of flutes! The second time we saw a local high school madrigal group, which went all out with victorian costumes and English accents. These humble investigators have never seen anything like it in their lives! It's quite fun :)

At the Ambasadors night last thursday we got to see Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Presidency of the 70. He gave an amazing talk about the need for light in our lives, especially during the christmas season, and it was just fun to see such an incredible man up close!
I'm really not sure what else to say. It's getting cold out, but today is warm actually. The Lord is changing me and perfecting me constantly, and I love it. I want to become whatever he wants me to be, so that when I see him again he will be happy with me.

I want my life to be acceptable to the Lord, and I am willing to work to make that so.
I love you all. Take care of yourselves and I'll keep taking care of myself, and most importantly keep praying.

Jesus is the christ. He lives. This is His Church, His Priesthood, His Authority on the earth for the Salvation of all mankind. I know this to be true.

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Epistle 12.3.08

Hello Everyone!

Barbara's baptism on Sunday was beautiful. I will be confirming her on this coming Sunday. She's been a pleasure to teach.

This Saturday is the first day of the Washington DC Temple's Festival of Lights. 450,000 lights are put up, with musical performances for free every night from Dec. 6th to Jan 1st. But perhaps even more exciting is that this Thursday our district has been rewarded for hard work by being given Parking Lot/Usher duty for one of the VIP nights to kick off the festival. Lots of high ranking ambassadors and religious leaders from the area all come to the Temple Visitors center, and some General Authorities come to address them. Last year President Packer and Elder Ballard were there. We don't know who will be here this year and they might be from the 70 instead of apostles, but still we're excited to get to be close to them. Last year the missionaries doing duty that night got to shake their hands!

I had some fun delving in to Christ's Parable of the Talents this week. In short the fun thing I learned was this:
Everyone comes in to this life with a different amount of Talents and Gifts, which are given to them from God. When all is said and done we will be judged by how much we have done proportionate to how much we are given. The man who received 5 talents was expected to gain 5 more. The man with 1 talent, had he gained one more, would have been commended just as warmly by the master as the other 2. However, having gained nothing he lost that which he had been given.

It was a reminder to me that all we really have to worry about is how much we are doing with what we have. Christ will make up the difference.

I promise you all that I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that he will make up the difference. His sacrifice does not simply make up for our sins, it makes up for all of life's unfairness. Every bad thing we were given, every good thing we weren't. Every trial we go through and every pain we feel. All of it is covered in that great and eternal sacrifice He has offered us.
I am eternally grateful for that, and urge anyone who will hear me to find within themselves that hope, for without hope we must be living in despair.

I love you all.
Stuff my mailbox,
-Elder Ted E. Bear

Monday, December 1, 2008

Photos of Elder Ted E. Bear, prior to his mission

(Elder Bear in front of the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah)
(Elder Bear in front of the Salt Lake City, Utah temple)

(Again, in front of the temple. Is he shrinking?)

(The incredible shrinking Elder Bear!)