Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Epistle - 7.1.09

Dearest friends, families, acquaintances, extended families, friends of families, ward members, interested readers, and uninterested readers who feel compelled to read:

To all of you I say, Good Wednesday!

This past week has gone by exceedingly quickly. So much so that I'm struggling to think of what to relate to you.

Stefanie Pollard, who is scheduled for baptism this coming Sunday (July 5) passed her interview with President Mansell on Monday. That was exciting.

Yesterday was CDM (Combined District Meeting) where we have a large meeting of missionaries as well as each getting our personal interviews with President. I always enjoy that so it was nice.

The weather is heating up. I've contemplated launching massive chunks of ice in a high adventure, space flying sci-fi assault on the sun, and believe I have, in fact, solved our global warming problems... now to invent the launcher...

I'm really not sure what else to relate...

As missionaries we receive a lot of heckling. Yesterday as we talked to a young man (20) on the street a man driving by in a jeep yelled out, "Don't Believe It!" Even back home when I was with the missionaries someone yelled out, "Go to Church!" We responded quickly be yelling back "Ok, Come with us!" On other occasions people have yelled things not quite so civil, and not quite so worthy of relating to you, since it would consist mostly of random assortments of symbols (ie. *#@!%)

Now upon hearing of this, many of you might be inclined to feel sorry for us, the missionary.. but the funny thing is, it really doesn't bother us very much. I feel very sorry for these poor people.

If you take a moment to reflect on the times in your life when you have said something mean to someone or about someone or really anything mean in general, you will find that each time generated a very similar feeling within you. We can refer to that feeling as "contention", and be as confident as our several beliefs in God are, that that feeling is from the Devil. Regardless of any belief in God however, we can ALL agree that it is not a pleasant feeling.

Based on this understanding of how WE feel when we say something mean or contentious, you can understand why I feel so sorry for these people who wreck a precious moment in their lives by yelling such mean things at such harmless people as ourselves, who are crazy enough to (or who have a stong enough testimony of the gospel to) give up 2 years of our lives, and pay to walk around on the streets in a white shirt and tie to try and help people be more happy.

But, we can't change them. We can change us.

Galatians 5:22 reads:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering,gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

These are feelings we can all recognize, and are feelings which the spirit of the devil is in exact opposition towards. Let us learn to recognize both of these feelings, and govern our words upon this test: "When I say these words, will I feel the 'Fruit of the spirit' as described in Galatians 5:22, or will I feel that nasty feeling of contention?"

As we do so we will find joy in our lives, and create joy in the lives of those around us, and there is no more Godly pursuit than this.

I love you all.
Elder Ted E. Bear

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