Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Email March 11, 2013

Hello Family! Well, this past week was a crazy one, and I actually didn't think I was going to get the chance to write you today, but here I am. I've been with the zone leaders the past few days because Elder Arteaga was transferred to the islands--St. Croix: the poor guy was scared cold. He speaks a little bit of English, but nowhere near enough to sit and have a conversation with an islander. They don't speak normal English. And he didn't have any classes before heading out. He was really afraid, and the transfer came out of nowhere. He was in an interview with President and during their prayer President felt that Elder Arteaga needed to go to St. Croix. So he left, and now that he left I was made the district leader of the Carolina and Pontezuela areas, which are going to be receiving two more companionships next month. And until I get a new companion I'm just with the zone leaders working in Carolina. The past week was pretty exciting. Last Monday as we were driving to Carolina we received a call from the Collazos. Elder Arteaga talked to them, but I could hear them because of how full of energy they were. They had just been in the house of Juanita and had left running because one of her sons--who had never listened to us before--went to her house and tried to kill her with a group of his friends. Omar started fighting with them, and later on the police came. When we heard that we were pretty afraid and we thought about them all night because we obviously couldn't go to the house. But the next day we passed by and everything was really peaceful and it appeared as if nothing had happened. Pretty crazy. As far as things are going with them, they took a step backward this week: Juanita convinced Rosa to wait until next year to get married--Omar doesn't agree--and Abigair doesn't want to get baptized without Juanita. But Juanita acts like she's our best friend. She invited us to her house and she had made this big dinner for us: I felt horrible because I knew that she had spent a lot of money on the food, which I knew was a really big sacrifice for her family. She loves us a lot, and that's great, but she needs to change her attitude and not be so worried about what everyone else in the family does. We're going to visit her this week with President, and I think that will do great things. While doing some contacting we found a family of 9--all of baptismal age--who live in an area named Campeche. They are really open to hearing about the gospel. The oldest son already knew who we were and a little bit about what we teach, and he was really open to talking to us. They live in three different houses with other parts of their family--grandpa, aunts, cousins, etc. I think that might be an example of the field being "white and ready to harvest." But before I make that claim I have to go back and teach them. I'm going to go with the Collazos on Wednesday to teach them. There are a couple young girls who were found by the missionaries in Carolina last August, who have only been taught a little bit. I had an impression a few weeks ago to call the sister missionaries to find out how the girls were doing, and the sister missionaries said that they were having a hard time contacting them because they lived so far away. I told them that we would try to visit them because we live closer and have a car. So we started visiting them, and we were finally able to set up an appointment with them for last Thursday. They were so prepared to hear the gospel! One of them, who didn't know much about the Book of Mormon, said that she had always felt something really special and important about the Book of Mormon but didn't really know what to do with it because she didn't understand the story. But that's not all: their mom, who had never wanted to talk to the missionaries before, arrived in the middle of the lesson and went straight to the kitchen, not saying much. But after awhile of listening while she was cooking, she came and sat down and listened attentively. At the end she said, "Wow, I'm sorry I never listened before. You teach beautiful things: please tell Nicole and Minelis when you are coming back, I want to be here to hear more." I was so happy. Haha. We also began teaching the daughter of Milagros--the woman who was in the hospital for stomach cancer. It was a really random lesson because we had only gone to Milagros' house to set up an appointment. But when we sat down and began to talk with her, the daughter started asking us all sorts of questions: "Why are there so many religions if there is only one God?" "Why do some people worship idols?" "How can I know which church is true?" I felt like I was being tested. We immediately began teaching her about the apostasy and the authority of prophets. When we finished we gave her a Book of Mormon and she began reading it even before we left. It was really cool. This past week we were reading the Book of Mormon with one of the recent converts--Jonathan--and it was really funny. He really understands what it means to apply the scriptures. He was reading about when Laman and Lemuel tied up Nephi in the wilderness, and he was mentally in pain by the idea! Haha. He said it out loud: "And Laman and Lemuel bound Nephi." And he stopped and said really loud, "Oh man!" And then he kept reading. haha. It was so funny. Well, I wish I could send you pictures: I know that you probably like getting pictures more than my letters. But this week I really wish I could send you pictures because I got a haircut: the man sheared me like a sheep. I call it the "caribean cut" because if I had dark skin I would be a Dominican! I got my hair cut last Monday and, well, usually people don't know what to do with my hair. And I always take off my glasses when they are cutting: bad idea. Haha. I left there with less hair than I've ever had in my life! I can't wait to send you pictures. I love you all and miss you! Elder Cevering

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