Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fwd: FW: Epistle - 3.25.09

Good Wednesday everyone!

It's been another wonderful week in the mission field!

Tyrone had an interview with President Mansell on Sunday, and passed! He is ready to be baptized this coming Sunday, and I will be performing the baptism. Very cool. Tyrone has been a lot of fun to work with. He has trouble understanding things but has such a strong desire to be right with God. Because he is being baptized the week before General Conference he will either be confirmed there at the baptism or two weeks later on Easter. Bishop will make that decision by Sunday.

Selena wasn't able to be confirmed last week because she was staying in the Hospital with a friend who's Husband was getting ready to pass. So she will be Confirmed this coming Sunday.

I've been having a lot of fun in my personal study lately preparing a talk for this coming Zone Conference on Friday. The task is to prepare a 5 minute "enlightening message" on the second bullet-point from the Consider This box on page 115 of "Preach My Gospel" (For those that have a copy). For those that don't, it reads, "How will developing Christlike Attributes help me fulfill my purpose as a missioary?" (As I remember it at least) It has been a very interesting talk to prepare, and I always find I study better when I am preparing a talk or workshop so I've enjoyed having the assignment. Hopefully I will have finished polishing it by Friday!

Other fun news for Friday, that morning we will wake up, metro down to the Suitland Stake Center (About 40 minutes) for Zone Conference, leave Zone Conference around 1:30 to Metro back home, then we have to be back down at the Suitland Stake Center at 7:00 to be part of a missioanry chorus singing with some Primary kids at a Stake Musical night. That will be an interesting day!

Everything out here is going really well. I hope all of you are well. I love hearing from you when you write!

Stuff my mailbox,
Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Fwd: FW: Epistle - 3.11.09

Hello Everyone!

My dad is constantly reminding me that I should be talking about the people I'm working with. So I thought I would try to do that today.

It is something I find very difficult, given that I only have 15-20 minutes to write this Epistle, and the EXTREMELY complicated nature of just about everyone I work with. I find it hard to even begin.

A very good portion of the people I work with on a day to day basis are practically (or in many cases literally and medically) insane. And it's really not their fault. I spend most of my time in the Ghetto. I would guess there is a 10% employment rate or so (if that). Most everyone is living off of welfare, in Goverment housing. The ones who ARE employed generally have massive Cadillacs or H2's, HUGE flat-screen TV's, and not enough money to put food on the table. As someone coming from a nice little ritzy Suburb, it's something I'm really not sure how to explain to all of you back home. The term "Baby-Mother" and "Baby-Father" is far more prevalent then "Husband" and "Wife". As missionaries we practically start salivating when someone we talk to on the street says something about being married.

Of the specific people we work with.

Selena is a complete sweet-heart. She is an older lady who is a widow. She lived with her druggy daughter for a while in Anacostia, but now has her own appartment two floors down from us in the high-rise we live in. Several years ago she decided to get closer to God. She gave up Alcohol and Drugs, and started faithfully attending church. She went to a REALLY weird church, which according to her charged 30% tithes, and had most of their sermons consist of a man ranting at the ladies for wearing too much make-up. When we came in to her home and actually taught her something about God, she was hooked. When we taught her the Plan of Salvation she just kept saying "Oh My Gosh. I never heard of this at my church!" Assuming the swelling in her legs isn't too bad, she will be baptized this coming Sunday.

Tyrone. Tyrone has met with, and stopped meeting with, at least two other sets of missionaries before we got here, but never been able to understand their message. Somehow in meeting with us this time he became convinced that we would lead him the right way towards God, and he could trust us. He's willing to basically do whatever we say. The only thing that has been keeping him from baptism is that he needs to know for himself that it is true before we can let him make that Covenant. His whole family grew up singing, they used to sing Gospel as a family at a church. He now lives in his deceased mother's home. He has no job, and if you ask him his career he'll say he's a singer but that he hasn't done that in a while. He lives off his monthly government check. He is very humble and knows that his comprehension "aint all that goood, man" but truly wants to do the right thing. I've come to love him very dearly.

Darryl. Darryl spent the last 5 years homeless after his wife apparently kicked him out of his own home that he built. He has a problem with Alcohol. He was making progress until the last time we went over there. He was drunk, and apparently his "fiance" (whom he had not been dating a week before) had moved in with him. As we were leaving he gave me a big hug, gave me a kiss on the neck and cheek, and said "I love you". We were all laughing pretty hard about the kisses. We've been meeting with Darryl for the past couple months, and we think we're about to lose him, which is really too bad.

Ok now I'm out of time.

I'm doing really well. I'm learning so much. I don't have the time I wish I did to communicate with all of you, but know that I am having the time of my life. I love these people so much, and find such great joy in watching them grow in the gospel. Yesterday was my 6 month mark. I plan on making the next 18 months even better!

I love you all
-Elder Ted E. Bear

Pictures From The Field

Some recent pics from Elder Bear. Lookin' good, kid!! I love how he's only smiling when he's at a baptism...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Epistle - 3.4.09

Good Wednesday Everyone!

Today is officially the best P-Day of my mission thus far. Brother Yuen, a member of our ward who moved to DC from Hong Kong about 40 years ago, decided to take us to play tennis, and then to the best chinese restaurant (according to him) in DC.

Anyone who knows me well knows that this was a bit exciting for me :). It's the first time I've gotten to play tennis out on my mission, and one of the other Elders could play pretty well so we had a lot of fun playing one on one while the other 3 elders dinked around. It is very cold out so of course Brother Yuen had reserved indoor courts. As far as score... we had to leave when it was deuce (sp) tied 40-40, my set point, 6-5. I'm ready to assume that I just won :-P

After tennis he took us to some little Chinese restaurant in China town. It has been WAY too long since I had good chinese food. They have "Chinese food" all over the place in DC... but it is really quite attrocious compared to what I could get back home in Seattle.

Overall it's been a VERY good P-Day! The rest of these days went very nicely as well. Selena (an investigator who lives 2 floors down from us in our building) is excited for her baptism in the next couple weeks. My companions are (as always) a lot of fun, and Elder Montoya and I are going to try and sing "Via Dolorosa" at Sacrament meeting before this transfer ends. I recommend looking that song up it's beautiful.

Much love to all of you. Keep the letters coming those who have been writing... the rest of you... the best time to start is now! :)

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Epistle 2.25.09

Hello Everyone!

Zaneta Washington was baptized on Sunday, that was very cool! A lot of work has gone in to that. Tyrone is waiting a couple more weeks so he can gain a deeper testimony of the truth. Very important.

Sunday was also a VERY strange day at church. I think we had more visitors at church then Ward Members. We had a huge group of BYU kids. A huge group of people in town for various "conferences". It was very interesting. Among the visitors though was Brother Richard Dance. Someone from back home who recognized me right off the bat.

I don't have a lot of time today, and I'm pretty tired. We had a Zone activity today of Flour Bomb Capture the Flag. We found a huge playground, and our entire zone got together for it. "Flour Bombs" are lady's stockings full of flour and knotted up. If everyone wears dark clothing then it leaves a nice white mark when you get hit. If you're hit you're out. The object is to get the other team's flag and run it back to your flag. In the midst of all this of course we are running up slides, jumping off playsets, climbing up ladders and all sorts of madness. The weather miraculously warmed up for us, and it was really a lot of fun. A couple people got some pretty painfully flour-filled eyes but they deemed it well worth it.

So that is about how life is for me. I'm healthy and safe. Our next baptism should be on March 8th.

Till next week!

-Elder Ted E. Bear