Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 10, 2013

Hello Family! I am excited to tell you that I am still in Carolina! WOO HOO! I am so excited. Because of that I will probably be here in October. The leaders say when President Smartt comes he probably won't transfer missionaries around for two transfers because he won't know us or the areas. I'm hoping that's true because some miracles happened this past week in this area that I'm excited to see roll forward. Waiting on the Lord has truly brought me more faith. As far as personal work in the campo, it all slowed down this week because Elder Delcompare got dengue. We were all so frustrated. We had a meeting with the zone leaders this morning about the opposition that we have been facing in our district. Let me tell you some things that have happened: the sisters were in a car wreck and one of them had to go to Florida to be treated for potential internal injuries; my bike, Elder Castaneda's bike, and Elder Helm's bike are all damaged; I had dengue and then the monga; and now just as I have recovered Elder Delcompare has the dengue. Elder Helm is sick right now. The opposition has really beaten us down. I talked with the district that the opposition is a sign that something good is about to happen: the devil doesn't want us to get something, so he's been trying to stop us. But that "something" came yesterday! The Lord's hand was shown in Carolina incredibly. Listen to this: last Sunday I went to visit the Bishop and his family up in Cedro (that's the farthest point in our area from our house). He and I were talking, and he said he wasn't really sure what to do to get the revelation he needed. I told him "make your sixteen stones." His wife said, "Yeah, go to El Yunque!" El Yunque is the rainforest/tallest mountain in Puerto Rico. So he decided he would go to El Yunque. He prayed before leaving his house, then headed up to El Yunque with questions as to new callings to make. He went up, prayed, read the scriptures, pondered. Then he went home, and when he walked in the house his wife asked: "Do you have any names?" He said, "No, but I feel really good." He continued pondering, and he told us that yesterday right when he sat down to begin priesthood meetings he had two revelations: call a new relief society president, and ordain a new priesthood holder. So he released the relief society president--who'd been president for years--and called a younger woman to be the new president. Then he ordained Jonathan--the young man who was baptized back in February--to the office of a priest and told Jonathan that he will soon have the opportunity to baptize other members of his family. The Spirit was really strong. And just so you know, Jonathan is the only active young priest in the ward now. There were no active young men who were of the office of priest for almost two years now, and here's the first. The Bishop shared this whole experience with Elder Castaneda and I about this in a short meeting after church. Then he invited us to share an idea I had this past week. My time at home with Elder Delcompare gave me some time to "go to El Yunque" as well. My idea was that the bishop and the other leaders invite and encourage every member to invite a friend to come to church with them on the 7th of July. The plan will go into effect on the 16th. And each week leading up to the 7th we as the missionaries are going to visit every member of the ward: the first week we are going to drop off materials for them to give away and teach them how to give it away; the second week we are going to bring them a message and do a follow up and continue planning with them; the third week we are going to go out and visit their friends with them. Then there will be a ward activity where the less-actives, inactives, and investigators are invited. Then they will have the invitation to come to the church meeting on the 7th. The bishop loved the idea. He said, "I like it." And then asked, "What day can I leave to work with you this week?" We set up to leave with him Tuesday night and he set it on his calendar. He told us his wife is going to invite their neighbor to dinner and we are going to go teach them :) So, after that, I went back to the elders and I said, "This is it! The ward is ready to go to work. We have to really purify ourselves now and go to work." We had a great discussion during our planning session, and our goal this week is to work with the leaders to find out the messages they want us to share with the members in the coming weeks. I'm really excited about it. It's going to bring me down out of the mountains for awhile, but that's okay: in the end, it will help us to find more people up there because members have friends and family up there. That's really been my week. Nothing else exciting. Things are just really progressing here in Carolina and I'm grateful to be a part of it. I've been perfectly fine as far as health goes. I was kind of depressed during the week because of all the time I have spent in the house due to dengue, but with everything that happened yesterday I got re-fired up again. It's such a blessing to be part of the Lord's work. I love you all a lot! And I miss ya! Elder Cevering

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