Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, January 7, 2013

December 31, 2012 Email

Hello Family! Well, the big news is that I was transferred again! Haha. I am now serving in Carolina--far, far east from Arecibo and even Toa Baja. I don't know where it is in regards to San Juan, but it's on more of the eastern side of the island. So far it looks like a cool place: it's kind of a mixture between a lot of campo and city. My companion is Elder Delgado: he's from Panama and he leaves for home this February. He speaks pretty good English. I was with him a few times before when I was living with Sister Visker and he was back in Bayamon. The past week was a good one: talking on SKYPE was both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. But I wouldn't have had it any other way because it was a much more effective way of talking and it was good to see everyone. Puerto Ricans don't do a lot to celebrate Christmas other than put out big Christmas lights, eat really gross food called pasteles, and make cherry bombs to blow up. There's also a thing called the Mascarra--I don't know how to spell that. It only takes place in Hatillo, which is a part of the Arecibo area. These people dress up in thick, bright costumes and decorate big floats, then drive around and attack each other. They spray shaving cream on car windows and slide across the fronts of cars with bells attached to their belts. It's supposed to be a really crazy holiday: we weren't allowed to go over to Hatillo that day so you don't have to worry. The baptism of Genoveva and Isaias went through last Saturday and it was so great. I felt--for one of the first times as a missionary--the sacred nature of my calling on a mission. To see them enter the water in white, and considering on the symbolism of baptism, was a very powerful experience. It reminded me of the words in D&C 84 where it says the power of godliness is made manifest in the ordinances of the priesthood. That's so true. Another of the great things was to see that, though I wasn't the one baptizing them, I had contributed to so much of what they learned before their baptism. Elder Garcia and I were the ones who began teaching them everything, so that's cool. I don't know the "why" of being transferred to Carolina, but I do think I know just a little bit about why I was transferred back to Arecibo. I was able to find a Colombian family last week that Elder Garcia and I contacted, but who Elder Garcia had never followed up with before being transferred. I took Elder Astle to this family and we taught them and it was a very spiritual lesson. They were strongly impacted by the Book of Mormon and in their prayer at the end of the lesson the father said: "If this is your will, please let us know that the Book of Mormon is true." I don't know the fruit of that prayer: but Elder Astle will let me know :). But if I had never gone back to Arecibo they may never have found that family again. The quote this week comes from the gas station this past Saturday: the moon was HUGE and gold and Elder Astle was recording a video of it on Elder Thomas's camera. He said "Look at the size of that moon" and started talking in an Australian accent like some animal planet narrator. Then Elder Thomas turned around and says "Are you recording?" Haha. It was really funny in the moment, especially when we watched the recording. To end, I just want to share that I learned something new about the atonement this past week: something I had never even thought about before. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and is the Savior of the world. A greater understanding of the atonement enriches our lives: although right now I am definitely still emotional about the transfer (because I love Arecibo and was excited to work there), I know that there are other people who need the atonement in their lives. Maybe I'm called to bring it to them? Anyway, love you all! And I miss ya. Elder Cevering

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