Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, January 28, 2013

Email January 28, 2013

Hello Family! Well, what a week! Haha I'm so excited to take a SHORT nap today. I've been super tired all week long: missions are a lot of work. It's spiritually and physically trying because you don't just labor with your body: as you exercise your faith in prayer, teaching, and fasting you find that you get worn out in spirit. Let me tell you a story! Yesterday we had 19 new faces in church. :)--smiling just like that. Haha. We had 8 of the family of 15 with us, 5 other investigators, and an inactive family that recently moved from Bayamon. The chapel was pretty full, which made the members so excited. After everyone had gone we had a meeting with the bishop, and the second counselor of the stake presidency came in and told us: "Tremendous work elders!" He told the bishop: "You have a FORCE with these elders to do whatever you need." And he said, "I wanted to take a picture of the chapel!" It was really great: they all really enjoyed it too. But back to what I was saying about being tired, when the final speaker in sacrament meeting said "amen" I had this random exhaustion come over me. It was a huge relief to have gotten all of these great new people through church--after a week of praying and teaching and organizing--and my spirit was at rest...for a little bit. Haha. When we got back to our apartment I sat down and sighed in relief, then realized: "Wait a minute, now we just have to work harder to get ALL of them their next week." HAHA. Oh man. In my life, I've definitely had trials and times when I labored hard to open the doors of heaven, but I've never so consistently been tried like this. But I've never had more joy in hardship than I have now. The week started with zone conference where President Alvarado announced that the mission is no longer a "knocking on doors" mission. He showed us the numbers of inactive and less-active members and said: "Get to work." Elder Delgado were already working with lists of the less-active and inactive, but the focus was intensified after President Alvarado made the announcement. Now all of our proselyting work is done through members and through the neighbors of less-active and inactive members. It's really effective. And let me tell you: the Lord prepared Carolina for this. When the members saw how many people we had in church this Sunday, they were moved upon! We got some references and invitations to dinner, which we weren't getting before. One of our investigators, Pablo--he lives out in the campo--didn't come to church yesterday, which was really disappointing. He has a baptismal date for this Saturday, which fell through because of his lack of attendance. We're meeting with him tonight--I believe--to talk to him. He's a really humble, intelligent guy and I hope he hasn't given up on the gospel. He has cancer though so he is pretty busy, which is understandable. He goes to the doctor a lot during the week and needs his rest. We bought him some hot chocolate mix to help him quit drinking coffee, so we'll see how that goes. We also contacted an old investigator last Saturday and he told us he is ready to accept the gospel now. He said he's just been kind of waiting for a reason to come to church: and then we showed up. It's really cool how that works out: when I very first got here to Carolina I went through the records of old investigators and picked out 6 to contact. Of those 6 we found this guy last Saturday--his name is Ismael--, another guy named Edwin--the guy who led us to his mom's house and told us that he wasn't actually Edwin--and a woman who invited us to her house this Tuesday. I don't remember her name. But it's been cool to see how they have all progressed: Edwin and his mom and son came to church on Sunday, Ismael invited us back to teach him this week and prepare him for church, and this other woman. The Lord is really guiding us. I told Elder Delgado that he and I were foreordained to break down the boulders that had caused so much damming here in Carolina. He said: "YEAH!" He and I aren't really great friends: I don't want to say a lot, but I'll just say that these past 4 weeks have been a great lesson of patience. We are becoming friends though. We have disagreements and a lot of differences, but we can always laugh, which is really good. I do miss having Elder Peacock as a companion though. Haha. I imagine that's how I'll feel a lot in the mission. Well, I love you all and miss you! Six months down: where did the time go? And: HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA! I love ya! Elder Cevering

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