Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Epistle - 9.30.09

Tomorrow is October 1st, and will mark one full year in the mission field. It will also mark 10 months and 3 days left in the mission field.

It leads me to ponder: Have I changed? How have I changed? Have I changed enough?

I suppose time will tell the answers to those questions.

Elder Milne has been keeping remarkedly good focus as the end of his mission looms near, I've been very impressed that he has continued to function in full measure as a missionary ought to, many missionaries do not do nearly so well.

I heard a metaphor earlier this week that disturbed me. It was a very accurate metaphorical representation of an ideology that I have seen quite frequently on my mission, and to me it illustrated how strange the idea is to me.

A woman on the street told us that she didn't like any church that taught there was only one true church. To illustrate her thinking she said, "When I want to buy groceries I go to safeway, if they don't have what I want I go to Giant, or Shopper, or Aldi's, or Albertsons. Sometimes I get some things from one, and some things from another depending on the sales. That's like churches, everyone finds the one that works best for them."

I know that not everyone that reads these e-mails are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I do not in any way mean to offend anyone. But to lower the sacred bread of life, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ; to debase the Living Water which is his teachings to the level of common groceries offends me.

Any Christian, Jew, or anyone who respects the Bible could realize the absurdity if, when Moses came off the mount with the 10 commandments, the people told him they didn't like the commandments he had brought, and wanted him to make up some different ones, or they were going to go find another prophet to listen to.

Any Christian would realize how foolish it would've been for the Galatians or Ephesians to, having receieved the epistles written to them in the New Testament, turn around and say "We don't like you're teachings, we're going to go find somet other apostles who teach the way we like"

Then I ask anyone to explain to me, or to themselves, or to God what has changed. Why would it be acceptable for people today to shop around and find a preacher that teaches the way they like. Why today would MEN choose those who should preach the gospel, when throughout the entire history of this earth that choice has been made by God alone?

It is my testimony that today God is still God, and he is still choosing his servants to send to his people, and that in the year 1820 a young boy by the name of Joseph Smith was chosen by the God of Israel, The God of Jacob, Issac, and Abraham, to be raised up as an authorized prophet to the nations of this earth, through whom the priesthood authority of Jesus Christ was restored, the only authority by which any church may be governed and lead in righteousness.

Again, it is not my desire to offend in the least. But because I love you, I would ask you to humble yourselves before the Lord and start asking God these questions in prayer, and be open to the answers.

Salvation is too precious a gift to be casually slid in to. We must take these things seriously, or the consequences will be serious.

I appologize for no funny stories this week. My mind is deep in thought, and my heart is troubled.

Again, I love you all. If there is anything I can do for you, explain for you, or pray for you about please let me know.

Your friend and servant,
Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Epistle - 9.23.09

Hello Everyone!

Happy last week of September!

Life in the mission is going well! We're half way through the transfer, Elder Milne is doing very well keeping his focus.

Ammanuel, the Ethiopian man has a new Baptismal Date of Oct. 25th. He's having trouble coming to church because he gets called in to work and he needs the money bad. He and his wife and one of his daughters are here in the states so his daughter can get a new kidney. She's on dialysis right now. He left 3 children back home in Ethiopia. Rough situation.

Nana Smith is also on date for the 25th of October, and hopefully two of her 3 children will also be on date after tomorrow night.

The work is going well. It's always so much fun working in the District, people are so ready to change their lives for the better. They've seen where worldly ways lead, and they want something else.

One of my roommates, Elder Chandler, got his bike stolen. Poor guy. He got his stolen the same way, and probably by the same kids as stole my companion, Elder Milne's, bike a couple months ago. They both left it leaning up against a tree while they were 10-15 feet away talking to someone on their porch. The moment they turn their back the kids just jump on it and ride off. Can't possibly catch up.

Better lock my bike up!

I'm not sure what all to update you on this week...

OH I suppose there is one thing. I got a call on Friday and got asked to sing another Musical Number at the Why I Believe Fireside on Sunday night. It's in the same theater as the Nights of Music and Inspiration I often do, but those normally have around 40-50 people, and the Why I Believes normally have ~3-400. This was a fairly small Why I Believe but it still turned out to be a couple hundred people, which was fun. I sang a duet with Elder Chandler, who was in the BYU Men's Chorus, and Elders Killpack and Katsenbach played a duet accompaniment on the piano they made up for Come Come Ye Saints. Neither of them can read music, but they are very talented at playing by ear so it was an interesting, sort of pop version.

I love you all, I really do appreciate your prayers, drop me a letter and let me know how life is!

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Epistle - 9.16.09

Good day friends!

Today was a Mission Sports Day. For the first time ever the entire mission got together to play some sports. Normally there is an anual half mission sports day, where the south half of the mission gets together, and the north half of the mission gets together, but today ALL of us were together. It was huge! and a lot of fun.

Time for some uplifting stories!

So the first takes place Sunday night. The week had gone a little rough. We hadn't really had a single teaching appointment hold, we hadn't gotten any new people to work with, things were looking pretty grim. So we prayed a lot about where the lord would have us go on Sunday night. We felt like we should go to the very north part of our area, so we decided to go check on an inactive member up there, and talk to everyone on the way. Now you also need to understand that the north part of our area is very rich, and rich people generally don't like seeing us around very much. But it's what we felt, so we went.

On the way we met some awesome people, who were obviously placed in our path, it was amazing. Then we reached the house of the inactive member we were going to check on.

He had a beautiful home with LOTS of windows, and a big glass front door. We went up to the door and knocked. After waiting a couple moments a man walked around the corner inside, but turned left into the kitchen instead of looking to the right at the door, so he seemed to not have heard our knock. The interesting part was that the man was wearing a T-Shirt... and nothing else...

At this point the brain enters a bit of shock. What do we do? This is the man we came to see... but... (or perhaps "butt" would be the truer word)

Well my companion made a quick decision. He turned around and hissed "RUN.". We quietly and quickly booked it off his porch, onto our bikes, and laughed hysterically all the way home.


I don't think that was very spiritually uplifting. (But it was funny right? =])

We'll move on to Monday then. My companion and are were biking along Missouri Ave, when my companion heard a lady call to us from her porch to our right, He stopped and we turned around to see her running off her porch after us. She turned out to be an amazing lady named Nita, who is so prepared to receive the gospel. She was open and listened to what we had to say and liked everything. She's awesome.

Now here's where it gets sort of interesting. We were only going on that street on our way home from an appointment. That appointment ended up being REALLY short because the man couldn't let us in the house because it wasn't his and the owner doesn't like us. Nita was about to leave for the library when she saw us. If the appointment had gone longer, we wouldn't have caught her, and if the appointment hadn't existed, we never would've been there.

Another thing, I didn't hear Nita call out to us. At all. And I have pretty good hearing. My companion DID hear Nita call to us from our right side. My companion is almost completely deaf in his right ear.

It's fascinating to me how many little miracles we could miss in life if we don't watch for them carefully. They happen in the simplest tender mercies are heavenly father grants to us, but the culmination of all of these little miracles, if observed, can nourish our testimony to higher plains than anything else.

I love you all. I appreciate all your prayers and support.

Be safe. Be good.

-Elder Ted E. Bear

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pictures of the Bear

A few more pictures. Again, explanations will follow when I have them.

I have an explanation for these tennis shots. Apparently, the boys used the Bear's camera, set on Continuous Shot mode and shot part of a tennis game. One picture every 1/2 second.

600 of them.

Luckily, Papa Bear edited it down and just sent us these two. Thanks, Papa Bear.

And life is spiffy!

A Few Good Pictures

I can't wait to get a few explanations for these pictures...but can I just say that our Mr. Bear is looking rather fabulous. And happy.

And did I mention he looks fabulous??

Without further ado....

Oooh....big guy in a black shirt! (Is that supposed to be The Rock??)

Our bear...singing something. In front of lots of people, no doubt. And sounding fabulous.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Epistle - 9.2.09

Hello Everyone!

So, I have been transferred! I am now back in the District, this time up in North East. We live in the RittenHouse, which supposedly used to be a well known place? I don't know... It's really nice though. It's the only missionary appartment that has computers to e-mail at in the building! That's nice.

Being in the District, I am, of course, still on a bike. I'm getting my money's worth out of that thing!

Next Tuesday I'll be singing in another Night of Music and Inspiration, but my accompaniest got transferred to the southern tip of the mission (Lexington Park), so a last minute accompaniest change to Elder Sheffield (He's the one who accompanied me in a musical number in the MTC)... that will be fun!

Well, being new to the area I don't know a whole lot about what's going on, but I hear we're going to have baptisms this transfer so I'm excited!

Love you all!
Elder Ted E. Bear