Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Email December 3, 2012

Hello Again! I know you're all dying to know how I am: I'm still about 5 feet tall, losing weight (weird?), and trying to work hard! haha. I want you to understand from the beginning that I'm doing well, but I'm still having trials :) My abdomen is NOT healing like it should. But I don't really know what to do about it anymore. I'll just tell you about my week! First let me tell you a little about Hermana Maritza: she's a really fired up member who works with people in the community with different problems that they have (drug/alcohol addictions, anxiety and emotional struggles, etc.). So who does she call to help her out? Just take a guess: the LDS missionaries, who just happen to be Elder Peacock and I. To give you a brief summary of this past week: we taught two people who nearly committed suicide, their families, and tracted Hermana Maritza's entire neighborhood. Everyone invites us in because they know Maritza, and we are having a lot of success in that way. I have a huge testimony of the power of members in missionary work! So, like I said, we taught two different people who almost committed suicide: we dropped by one with a member last Wednesday. We taught him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. He told us about how he had beat up his wife and that's why he was about to kill himself. He brought his wife out to meet us--bruised under her eyes and very timid--and we talked for a long time. They were very receptive to the message, but we didn't see them again until Saturday. We answered some of their questions about the restoration (the God and Jesus Christ being separate personages and such), and then told them we would be coming back later that night to talk to them because they needed to leave. So that night we went back and he wasn't there: everyone told us he was down at the bar, to which Elder Peacock and I both sighed in frustration. But we went to the bar :) We drove down the street to where it was and while Elder Peacock parked the car I walked up to the door and shouted for him: that was a crazy experience. Here I am, dressed in a white shirt and tie, a short little gringo standing at the door of a bar at 9:00 at night in the middle of Puerto Rico. All the people looked at me, but he emerged from the back, entirely sober, and came and talked with us. Wow. It was one of the more courageous moments of my life...haha. Through that we invited he and his wife to church and....THEY CAME! And they loved it. Elder Peacock and I were so happy! The other person who tried to kill herself was a woman --she tried to stab herself apparently. We got a call from Maritza around 8:00 at night telling us what had happened and asking us to come over. We raced up to her house where she was quivery and on the verge of tears. She invited us into her garage space where we talked for a minute before sharing with her the truth of the atonement. She cried and cried as we reassured her of the love of the Savior, and she told us about how difficult her life was. We just told her of the love of the Lord and shared a few scriptures with her, reassuring her that the Lord felt everything she has ever felt when He suffered in Gethsemane. That calmed her down, and after giving her a Book of Mormon to read, and after a prayer, she was very calm and the Spirit of peace filled the dimly-lit garage. She had stopped crying entirely when we left. We visited her the next day too and she was doing really well: she's been reading the Book of Mormon to her daughter and they are both really interested in learning more so we are going back tonight. Besides all of that we have two baptismal dates for next Saturday (December 15th). The first is named Augustine and he's a good friend of Maritza's. He's a farmer who lives deeper in the jungle with his uncle and cousin. He immediately accepted our message and has been reading the Book of Mormon ravenously (and for him reading is hard, so ravenous means about 8 pages, which is a huge accomplishment). A lot of people Maritza helps can't actually read, but Augustine has been doing his best to read and he's learned a lot. He has come to church three weeks straight and really wants to get baptized. His only struggle is with the Word of Wisdom, which he wants to live but doesn't have a lot of support from his uncle and cousin who make fresh alcohol from the sugar cane that they farm. But I sure love him: he's one of the humblest men I've ever met. The other baptismal candidate we have is named Martha--and I've already told you a lot about her. She's quite a character! But she has some struggles with her husband. We're working hard to get them more united but one of them is always sick. Her husband--Jimmy--has diabetes, and it's really bad I guess. I don't really know the nature of diabetes, but I do know that a lot of people here in Puerto Rico have it. Jimmy's can make him pretty sick...I don't know if that's it though for sure. I'm not a doctor. I got an email from Elder Liston last week and a letter from Elder Hansen, and I get emails from Elder Marriot--I was so happy! haha. I have been pretty emotional these past couple of weeks and Cragun's letter about had me crying...ABOUT. But not entirely. It's just good to hear from your friends who are serving alongside you, even if it's from a different part of the world. I'm not here for them, but they definitely motivate me. And hearing about all of my girl-friends who are leaving is a big inspiration to me. I'm stoked to hear that Shayna is going to Texas - Spanish Speaking :) Well, there isn't much else to say. I'm just trying to be a good missionary :) I love you all a lot! Elder Cevering

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