Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Email September 18, 2012

Hello Family! Well, it's officially been six weeks here in el CCM--I am really hoping to go to the Dominican this week :) but we highly doubt that's going to happen. If it doesn't, things here will be fine! We're good friends with our district and we're mostly happy with this routine, so it won't be terrible. I think I want to go to the DR because I want the Spanish immersion. I know though that I don't receive everything I want, but the Lord gives me everything I need. Alright, Spanish: let's just say, this past week was the hardest week of Spanish yet! We studied the Subjunctive Tense--it's essentially a tense that we NEVER use in English, but is entirely required in most other languages. It's used to express "Unseen" or "Unreal" things like doubts, emotions, etc. It also requires completely different verb conjugating. It's really hard! And I think it's hard because we had already learned so much in Spanish, just to find out we now have to start speaking it in an entirely different tense. I spent at least 5 hours between Thursday and Friday studying it. That may not sound like a lot of time between two days, but for the MTC that's a lot of time to study one thing. It's really hard, but I'm getting it down. I'm able to use it pretty proficiently. It's easier to understand on paper than to speak it without thinking. But I'm really learning Spanish! Subjunctive was the last thing we had to learn here, so now we'll just be reviewing everything we've learned for the next three weeks. I'm going to try really hard to speak the best I can. I feel quite confident in it. A lot of funny things happen here when we speak in Spanish. For example, in sacrament meeting this past week one of the missionaries was giving a talk on repentance. We always give talks in Spanish, as a side note. But as he was speaking, he was trying to say "Yo se que yo puedo recibir perdonado por mis pecados" which means "I know I can receive forgiveness for my sins." But what he actually said was "Yo se que yo puedo recibir perdonado por mis pescados" and pescados means fish :) HAHA we laughed so hard. We have a lot of stories like that. It's really funny to learn a different language. Another story: when one of the Elders in my district was teaching his progressive investigator he tried to tell her that the church makes him happy, which would be said like this in Spanish "La Iglesia me hace feliz!" But what he actually said was "La Iglesia me hace facil!" And facil means easy...HAHA! Oh man. The trials of learning a language can be so funny sometimes. Every Sunday and Tuesday night we have a devotional, and this past Sunday was awesome. The speaker was W. Tracy Watson, who is the director of all Proselyting missions. He showed us a part of The Book of Mormon musical, and we were all silent at the end of the short clip. I felt terrible, as I'm sure many others did as well. The clip basically took missionaries and made us look gay, overzealous, and truly like a bunch of psychos. They made a mockery of The Book of Mormon--a book that you and I love. I wondered why Brother Watson would share that clip--and he got up after and asked "How come you're not laughing like the audience in this clip?" Then he went on to bare testimony of how he, as a student, never knew how to read. But by a great miracle, by opening the pages of The Book of Mormon and attempting to study it, he received the ability to read. His testimony was really powerful. The world can say whatever it wants about The Book of Mormon--I'd advise you not to indulge in anything they say. As the Bible says "Ye cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils" (1 Corinthians 10:21). If you want to know The Book of Mormon is true, go to the truth and FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. I love the book--and I love having the opportunity to study it daily, teach from it in Spanish and in English, and to draw power from it every day here in el CCM when my mind feels ready to collapse from the stress. The only way to know if something is from God is to sincerely desire to know if it is, and sincere desire does not come simply from WANTING. It comes from humbling ourselves in order to accept whatever the answer will be. I know that The Book of Mormon was translated by the power of God--not because I was taught what was in it, but because I have been blessed from it. Because I have been the recipient of its true power. It's either the greatest fraud, or the greatest book ever written. When paired with the Bible it will confound all falsehoods. Thank you for all your support! I love and miss you! Elder Cevering

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