Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Email May 27, 2013

Hello Family! This week was a really disappointing week because, once again, I've been sick. The dengue has a three-month recurring effect, and on top of that I have been living with Elder Helm, who has had a flu called the monga. So, as I was coming out of the dengue, and since my immune system was weak, I then developed the monga. So I was down in bed a few days this week. It's been frustrating to not be able to go out and work. Other news, Elder Smith was sent to Tortola--really beautiful--and my new companion came in from Tortola: Elder Delcompare. He's from Guatemala. It's been cool. Elder Delcompare is a great guy. But we probably won't be companions very long. I'll probably get a new missionary next week and start training again. On Tuesday and Wednesday I worked with the zone leaders (Elder Castaneda and Elder Helm)in their area until Elder Delcompare came in. Then Thursday and Friday I was down in bed. Saturday we worked all day, and then part of Sunday I was in bed again. It was frustrating, but I got a blessing and I think I'll get better. I'm going to buy more meds tonight :) We were able to visit Andres and Lowra again this week. Unfortunately Andres had been drinking so we weren't really able to talk with him. But Lowra is really great: she set up an appointment with us for this Thursday. I'm really excited. This morning we were visited by Elder Cornish of the seventy. I was asked to sing Savior, Redeemer of My Soul with one of the sister missionaries. I was almost not going to do it because the monga has basically taken away my voice. But with the blessing I got I was able to sing. People said they could tell I was sick, but they said we did a good job. And then Elder Cornish was really great: I could definitely feel the power of his calling. Anyway, love you all! Don't worry about my health, I will be better by next week for sure :) Elder Cevering

Monday, May 20, 2013

Email May 20, 2013

Hello Family! This week was a rough one! There were some really good points, but the dengue just really had me in bed a lot. I was hurting a lot on Saturday so I went to lay down for five minutes between lunch and 12 week program study, and I sacked out for four hours. It was really crazy. I feel like on the mission I have suffered a lot physically haha. Torn abdomen. Dengue Fever. But I've really found that through those experiences the Lord is humbling me: I'm grateful for those chances to wait on the Lord. I can humbly say the Lord has helped me become more humble. And I've found a lot of peace in my life despite the trials. We had a really great lesson with a couple named Andres and Lowra. They live up in the campo at the end of a random road. Elder Smith and I sometimes just drive around to really explore the area so that we know where we can go. And every time we come to a dead end we contact the houses at the end. It's a good system: that's how we found Andres and Lowra. When we were talking to Andres for the first time he told us, "Something needs to happen to help fix things in our lives." We testified of the power of the restored gospel, and he invited us back. We taught he and Lowra about the restoration. As we talked I asked them when the last time was that they felt peace. They couldn't answer. So I promised them peace as they read the Book of Mormon. And they've been reading! I'm really excited about the potential they have. They have a little six year old daughter who's really cute too haha she goes crazy when we are there. Another investigator we teach for the sisters has gone to church three times. His name is Ferdinand: he has accepted to be baptized, but doesn't want to commit to a baptismal date because he's "poor". It's true, he really has nothing. They just recently announced here in Puerto Rico that they are going to stop producing food coupons, which is the support a lot of people here have--like Ferdinand. And Ferdinand lost his job because he punched a kid he worked with...so it's not an ideal situation. But he loves going to church: he was praying to God for guidance, walking through the street, when the sisters found him, and he says that he believes God has directed him to the church. So he'll be baptized, it's just a matter of asking when. He's really cool. I had a sort of sentimental moment yesterday. I was talking to Lin--I used to call her Lym, but that's because I didn't understand her perfectly haha--at church about when she wanted to get married to Esteban. She told me she's just basically waiting for him to propose, but that he doesn't have the money to buy a ring. Then she said, "I'd accept a bread-bag tie around my finger!" I was surprised and really humbled! She loves him so much she's willing to take basically nothing as a commitment to marry him. Ha. It made me think "I hope one day a woman loves me enough that she would accept even a "bread-bag tie" from me." :) haha. That's all sentimental and stuff, but it's an honest, heart-felt thing. Anyway, love you all! Elder Cevering

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Email May 13, 2013

We had a great time Skyping with Michael yesterday! He is doing really good and seemed very happy. He loves his mission president and is really enjoying his area and assignments. His email today is very short because of our visit on Sunday, but we wanted to ask you all to keep Michael in your prayers. He told us yesterday that he came down with Dengue and has been sick with it since his birthday (May 7th). As you know, Dengue can be very serious, and although he seems to have the more moderate strain and is recovering fine, he has been very sick. Please keep him in your prayers because I read that once they’ve contracted the mild/moderate form of Dengue, it increases their risk of having “severe” symptoms if they’re infected another strain of Dengue (there are 4 different strains). Oh, and a funny story to pass along… he told us that recently he was sleeping on the floor because they didn’t have enough beds for all the Elders in their apartment, and he woke up with a tarantula next to his sleeping bag…YIKES! He said it was gray and was as big as his hand! Michael HATES spiders! He hates the small ones we have here – imagine his reaction when he woke up to find a tarantula next to him! Haha! Wish we’d had a camera to capture his reaction! Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! His email wasn't very long this week because of our phone call, but I thought I would post it anyway. -Melanie Cevering (Michael's Mom)............... Hello! Even though we got to talk yesterday, I thought I'd just send some thoughts home from the week. Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday: I am grateful to know of prayers and support in my behalf. We are having a lot of success right now in the campo. It has amazed me how the Lord has opened the doors to missionary work. I hope I have much more time to work here and really get this work going in this area of Carolina. One of my new goals is to start strengthening the ward members, that they can become shepherds. I know I won't be here forever, but I want to leave a legacy. What do I want them to say about me in Carolina in the years to come? I would just want them to say that with my help they were able to become Shepherds and missionaries. Love you all! Elder Cevering

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Email May 6, 2013

Hello Family! This past week was a very successful week. Our area is doing really well. We are seeing a lot of success in the campo. We have more than 20 people to go back and visit this week. We have gone with three different members up to the campo, and they took us to their friends and family. We have 4 families to teach, about 8 couples, and the rest are just people we contacted in the street: and that's just in the area called Cacao. There are more in an area called Carruzo, and we received 4 references in an area called Santa Cruz. It's been incredible to see how the campo has just opened to us. I really know the Lord has prepared it for this time. The ward calls Elder Smith and I the "pioneers" because missionaries have never focused their work on the campo. They've obviously given us their support, so it's really exciting. The other two assignments that we have are to find the less-actives and inactives, and to teach the men in Pontezuela. We have a lot of people to set up lessons with in Pontezuela this week. One of them is Milton: he's a young guy with a really young daughter. He's divorced--because he's been drinking and smoking and his wife was sick of it--so he has really been struggling with some things. The gospel really clicks with him, but he doesn't get how it really can help him. It's kind of like he loves the idea of the gospel helping him, but he still doesn't have that faith to really apply the blessings of the gospel in his life. We were visiting with him the other day, and his face was all scarred because he'd been drunk and he'd fallen on the floor. He said, "I can't meet with you guys right now, I need to go sleep off some of this stress." It was interesting. I really want to help him understand and apply the atonement. As far as the work with the less-actives and inactives go, we actually had a good number of them at church yesterday. It was really cool. We've been able to find and meet with a lot of them. But the members in the campo are a lot harder to find: people protect them from us. Haha. The ward's been searching for this guy named Juan for years, but apparently no one will tell the missionaries or members where he lives when they are up looking for him. And they know he still lives where he always has because he's been "sighted" by members. It's like Big Foot. I'm determined to find him. Last Saturday we went to a ward member's house up in Cedro--the furthest part in the campo from the chapel--and they gave us spaghetti. It was so good :) Like I've said, I miss pasta a lot, so I always ask for it when the members want to cook for us. But usually they just have rice and beans and chicken, which is really great too. Speaking of which, I was invited by a man to go eat with him this week in his house--random memory. Anyway, we were at these members' house. They are a really cool older couple named the Llanos (it would be like saying Jawnos) who are really strong members of the church. Milagros Llanos is the relief society president, who has really warmed up with us and to the work--and Hector Llanos is the stake family history director. And they've been in the ward for years. Hector was baptized before blacks even had the priesthood, so he has a really strong testimony. I felt like I was just with some best friends, which I really enjoyed. It was so relaxed and so friendly. I was able to really come to be good friends with the whole family, which was a good experience. I'm almost 20 :) Well, I will talk to you on Mother's Day. I will be calling around 6:30 Puerto Rico time, so that should be 4:30 Utah Time. I'll be doing SKYPE, not just the phone. You'll get to see the chapel where we go to church. Super exciting. Love you! Elder Cevering