Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, April 22, 2013

Email April 22, 2013

Hello Family! The world's coming to an end, and I'm on an island. Everywhere I go people ask me, "Did you hear about Boston?" And I say, "No, but did you hear about New York in 1820?" Haha. That's got to be the new catch phrase of the missionaries. We are the "Hasteners" as we (or I) say here in Puerto Rico. It's catchy. "The Hastening 2013". Who wouldn't get excited about that? This past week was the most gratifying week of my misson, for one single reason: the baptism of Lin. In the past I've always called her Lym--I was wrong. Her name is Elienitza, but everyone calls her Lin. Super embarassing for me. But that's not important, her baptism went through. It was the most spiritual experience of my mission. When we were waiting to begin the service, Esteban--her boyfriend--asked me to come sit by him. I sat down and he said to me, "I just want to tell you thank you. Do you know what I said in my testimony last week at church? I bore my testimony of missionary work. I made the announcement that Lin was being baptized, and it was all because some young man come from Utah and finally helped her have the faith to take that step. Thank you so much." I was filled with that Spirit again that God really loves His children. I felt that great happiness that comes from knowing God can use you as an instrument, no matter how imperfect you are, and no matter if you sound like a gringo when you speak Spanish. Then as the service continued my heart and chest swelled, and when I got up to give the talk about the Holy Ghost I felt really emotional. But I didn't cry ;) The Spirit was just so strong. And it was really cool as I stood around the corner at the font and saw Lin walk in to Esteban and they share an excited look, then he performs the ordinance, she comes up smiling, and she gives him a big hug. It was just such an awesome experience: I thought, "When is the next baptism?" And it was without pride: I just wanted to feel the same way I did, and I wanted others to feel the way that Lin did in that moment, and I wanted some member to feel the way Esteban did. It was such a powerful experience. Lin asked me to perform the confirmation, which was cool too. Besides that we just worked, worked worked. Milagros ended up in the hospital (again??) and Atawalpa decided to still not trust the promise of the Book of Mormon and didn't pray about it, so their baptisms didn't go through. I'm taking the bishop to Milagros' house this week to have him interview her to see what he thinks of the situation. The fruits of our labor really showed yesterday in our ward council: we are finally getting a ward mission leader and ward missionaries. YAY! And I can be even more excited about that because transfers have passed and I am still working here in Carolina. Elder Castaneda is staying too, but we are both going to train new missionaries. That means we have to split the area and our investigators, but I'm excited about that. I'm headed up to the campo area of Carolina :) Anyway, love you all! And I miss ya! Elder Cevering

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