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