I have a couple things to report on this week. The first, I call the Miracle of the Tooth.
Several weeks ago I chipped a tooth (eating hard candy, if you must know!). When I went to get it looked at by a Dentist, they informed me that the tooth had chipped because there was decay inside the tooth, under the area that had chipped off (The decay was probably something that didn't get quite cleaned out well enough from a past filling, and had then continued to spread within the tooth). The real problem, however, was that the decay was very VERY close to the nerve of the tooth. The dentist told me that basically, a root canal was needed, because by the time he had cleaned out all the decay, he would hit the root, so it would all have to be removed, and he recommended putting a crown on top to make sure the tooth didn't just break to pieces in the future, since it would be dead. He did say there was a very slight chance that he wouldn't hit the nerve, and he could try just doing a filling, but even then it might just become incredibly painful later on and end up needing a root canal anyways, so it was my choice.
So, I went in to the dentist last week fully expecting a root canal. After much drilling within my tooth, the dentist told his assistant to take an x-ray, and then came in to talk with me. He told me that the very slight chance that he wouldn't hit my nerve, had become a reality. He knew he hadn't hit the nerve because there wasn't blood everywhere (pretty good indicator), so now came the choice. Root canal? or MASSIVE filling? (He had drilled out what seemed like a good 1/4 to 1/3 of my tooth looking at the x-ray (It's really weird seeing an xray where there is a giant hole in your tooth by the way). Basically a filling was a risk. It might get really painful down the road, BUT, the tooth was still alive, and there was a chance it would be fine. Root canal, no chance of pain down the road, but the tooth is dead. Final. I opted for the filling, and prayed all would work out well. It took him about 2 and a half dispensers of the filling to fill my tooth up, and at the end he told me that my tooth and gums would definitely hurt for the next week or so, but should subside after that. That was partially because the nerve would find the artificial filling, and withdraw a bit in to the tooth, and whine to me just to let me know it was still there. I would have cold/warm sensitivity for a week or two which should lesson over time. If it didn't lesson, I would need a root canal.
A week later I am amazed to report that I have had absolutely no pains from my tooth. Only a minor sore gum. There are definitely blessings to being on the Lord's work!
The second item: The cold.
It got REALLY cold last friday. Wind chill got down to around the 0 degrees range. The mission president decided that for Friday and Saturday, missionaries were not allowed to be outside for more than 30 minutes. That meant no tracting, not biking around checking on people or anything. Of course the Lord provided things for us to do and that didn't mean we got to sit around... we actually hardly spent any time in our apartment those two days but still, I just want you all to know our mission president is looking out for us!
Third. The one you all want to know about. Inauguration. For the Elders in the city our Mission President decided that we had to be in by 5:00pm Monday through Thursday this week, to keep us away from large groups of partiers or the like. The city is just plain crazy. Yesterday was just a zoo. Most of the roads in the city were shut down to cars. The freeway was open only to HUGE amounts of Metro and Charter busses. Masses of people would just clog a street, so we couldn't get through on bike. I just didn't even really know what to think about it, and I'm really not sure how to describe it. There are no missionaries in this mission who live closer to the capitol building. I feel really grateful that I happened to be here, in this area, in this apartment right at this time. It's just a cool thing to see. When we woke up in the morning the freeway going East was empty, and the freeway going West was nothing but one lane of Metro busses (with a few Charter busses thrown in) as far as we could see up the freeway. An hour later it was two lanes as far as we could see. A couple hours later it was three. These busses were (very slowly) moving the whole time, so it's not just like we were staring at the same busses. There were just that MANY! The cheering during the inaguration was VERY audible from our apartment. Loud people. And then everyone in our building it seems was out on their balconies screaming at the top of their lungs "Obama! I love you boy!" (Actual quote from the deck two right and one up from us). After the inaguration was one of the weirdest things. There were people walking on the westbound part of the freeway leaving the area, and that part of the freeway was open! There were cars wizzing by and people are walking along an area with almost no shoulder. And then it was evey weirder because I saw some DC Crossing Guards (they have official crossing guards here employed by the government) helping people along, so obviously this was one of the official exit routs... a running freeway! I took a TON of pictures, but yet again I forgot my USB cable so I can't send any today. There's a LOT of people in the city. But we are safe.
I don't know what else to update you all on. I'm healthy, safe, and trying to work hard. I love my calling and am grateful for this opportunity to serve.
I know that Jesus is the Christ. My Lord and Saviour, and I am honored to call him my Master. I desire to serve him through all my days, and am grateful for the knowledge that He can give me the strength to do so, if I but humble myself before Him and ask.
He loves all of you as well.
I love each of you
-Elder Ted E. Bear