Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, September 30, 2013

Email September 30, 2013

Hello Family! This week was not very exciting at all haha. Some sad things happened in the branch, as well as we dropped an investigator. I'll explain all about it. First off, Sister Smartt wants me to visit with the General Surgeon of a hospital in San Juan, and I'm going in tomorrow morning. I have this scar in my belly button that we want to get checked out. So that's going to be happening tomorrow. I guess we'll see what the surgeon thinks. The pain in my ab comes and goes--it's not connected to physical activity either. I can be sitting down and pain can come to the muscle. It was random too because I felt like I was improving, and then suddenly the pain came back again. What a life :) NONE of the investigators nor less-active members we work with came to church and to be honest I was frustrated by that. The thing is that they don't understand how important it is for them to come. Seriously. I'm so tired of hearing excuses from people. We visited a couple Saturday night: the husband is active and the wife inactive. While he was writing his testimony in the planchas de aibonito we talked with her and she started off, "I'm not going to church right now because I have too many trials." She then went on to explain that she has pain in her shoulder so that keeps her from going to church. Then she told us that like seven months ago she tripped down some stairs and has some knee pain so she doesn't like to walk down the front steps to go to church. She said she doesn't like to travel with her husband 30-60 minutes to visit other wards and branches where he's called to visit because it's "too much" and she doesn't want to make a member have to pick her up to come to church here. Blah, blah, blah. It's SAD what keeps people from activity in the church. I love what Elder Anderson said in conference last October: to stop going to church during a hard trial is like leaving the storm cellar during a tornado. And man, a lot of the people get out of this metaphorical storm cellar because of a stubbed toe. The world has to learn that salvation comes from so much more than pretty songs and prayers. Our sister investigator didn't come to church because her mom is feeding her lies about the church. They invited us for dinner last night: it was Manicotti, which was really good. Then afterward we sat down, and the mom started asking us questions about polygamy and so on. I just said to her, "Do you know what the Book of Mormon is?" She gave that typical, "Oh it's another book..." I explained what it is, and then she quickly changed the subject to talk about the Bible, and I just gave in for the night. I didn't want to get into any heated discussion with her and I knew my patience was wearing thin. I just sat back and listened to her sing about Joshua and the Israelites walking around Jericho. She's a good woman, but she's blinding her daughter, which is really sad. The daughter says she's praying to know what God wants her to do. In response to her prayers, she had a vision that she's trying to interpret: apparently in the vision she was preaching in a church about Jesus and nobody believed her so she fell on the floor and began to pray, when suddenly a pillar of light came through the ceiling and a golden tablet floated down to her with writings on it that she couldn't interpret. The tablet was encrusted with gems and on the bottom there was a signature from the Lord. Interesting. We're trying to help her understand that she's received many witnesses that the church is true, not speaking of that vision. She's had a lot of experiences that seem to us like arrows and lights saying "Hello! Go THIS way!" But I feel like she's just afraid to accept them by faith because of her mom. We also dropped an investigator this past week. He got really offended when the Collazos visited him. Missionaries have been visiting him for years, and he's gone to church and taken his kids to seminary, but he doesn't want to stop drinking. When we talked to him on Friday he told us "I drink and all, but every once in awhile I say a little prayer to God..." He tells us he believes the church is true: but he doesn't want to change his life, and his wife doesn't help him because she's inactive. It's a sad situation, but we feel like there's not much we can do right now. It's just not the time. I learned something new about the atonement this week that I'm trying to apply in my life. I was studying about repentance, and I was impressed by the word "forsake." I began thinking about what that means. We know that to forsake something means to stop doing it. But I found something just a little bit deeper about it: as I was pondering about that I thought about the words of the Savior in Matthew 9 that men don't put new wine in old bottles, but in new bottles, otherwise the bottles will break and the wine will be lost. He says the same of a ripped garment: you don't just patch it or the rip isn't fixed: you have to sew it back together or get a completely new garment. So as I thought about this, I realized that many times in my life I've had desires to stop doing things that weren't right, but just trying to stop doing them wasn't enough. I have found that in many circumstances I can stop doing the wrong things I'm doing. I can be more obedient in an instant if I just choose to do it. That's a beginning right? Choosing to be good is a beginning. But I always thought that the next step was just continuing to be good, when in reality it's more: we have to become new creatures or the new wine (the Spirit) won't be retained in us but will rather slide right through us, and the effect can be destructive spiritually. How do we become new creatures? It requires the decision to be good, to confess our sins to proper authority if necessary--meaning, follow the protocol designed by the Lord--and then strive to keep more than just the commandment you were breaking: we have to have a complete renewal of commitment to the Lord or repentance will be incomplete, and thus we can't be made new creatures. And why won't the Lord make us new creatures if we don't repent completely? I don't confess to know all the answers, but I think I found one: if we were forgiven by our own standards, we would come to think of ourselves as our own masters with our own guidelines. That would remove the need for repentance and would destroy the justice of God, creating a supposed "sinlessness." Maybe you have seen that in the world today: I have seen it all over Puerto Rico. People here say that God will accept all people that worship Him because everyone thinks and analyzes doctrine differently and thus they worship Him differently. Essentially, that means that men establish the laws of God and not God. And why would men want to establish the laws of God? To make themselves their own masters, and to do as they wish. But I guess what I learned about true repentance and true forsaking of sin, and the true power of the atonement--the power to change our very being--comes not just after we forsake sin, but after we make the commitment to live ALL the commandments faithfully. That doesn't mean we have to be perfect: it just means we have to truly have our mind set on following Christ. We will at times receive power to be better than we could ever be on our own, but the true power of the atonement is to have that change that permits us to retain new wine and to not just patch our rent garments but to sew up the tears and be new again. I don't know if that all makes sense, and maybe I'm behind a few steps, but that was something that really hit me hard this past week. Another thing I'm learning is how to do the rubiks cube. Ha ha. Another thing about the branch: a young inactive family that was brought about to activity is now breaking up. The dad came home from work, having receive a cut to his hours, and he decided he wanted to take the army exam. The wife told him she didn't want him to join the army, so he got mad and left the house. Now they're separated, and the husband says he doesn't want anything to do with the church. It's really sad. They are a core part of the branch. We're praying for them. The good thing is that the wife came to church yesterday with the kids and told us she's doing well. We missionaries were asked to talk in sacrament meeting yesterday: I talked about receiving revelation at church and reverence. Reverence is one of those things that the branch needs. You know those girls in school that are always gossiping together while the teacher's talking? There's a group of older women like that in this branch, and it's causing a lot of problems. The four of them sit on the back row in the chapel and just talk the whole time: what a waste of time. All four of us missionaries talked about something that was directed towards them haha. We'll see what happens. Well, I love you all! General Conference is going to be great! Elder Cevering

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pictures from Elder Cevering of Aibonito, Orocovis, and Barranquitos

Email September 23, 2013

Hello Family! I'll let you know a little bit about President Smartt and his wife. They're really great! We don't have as much interaction with them as we did with the Alvarados. President Smartt is a lawyer/business man so he does things very executively. Sister Smartt wants me to go to the doctor for my ab sometime: I'm going to the doctor this week to have my ab seen. I have had some irregular pain there. She was SO understanding when I talked with her about it. AHHH. They're great. President Smartt's spanish is...fun to listen to :) He has a really thick Alabama accent. And Sister Smartt is learning Spanish, so she's just a gringo like I was. HA. Now I'm latino. Our week was really successful: we were able to reach most of our goals and do all that we planned to do. However, none of our investigators came to church. We thought for sure they'd come! It was disappointing, but I couldn't be too disappointed because there were 41 members in attendance so I had to be happy for the growth! Armaris had to go to a party for her godson this Saturday night, so she was too tired to wake up Sunday to come to church. She's also facing some social pressure from within the Methodist church to not listen to us. However, she is still firm. When we went to her house to teach her she had a friend from the Methodist church there, so we decided to read in the Book of Mormon with them. We read in Enos and talked about the atonement and receiving answers to our prayers. It was really Spiritual. And Armaris' husband Efrain came to church, which is really great because he's not been active. Manuel was really bothered when we went to visit him, and didn't want to talk to us. He feels like Elder Collazo pressured him too much to be baptized when we went there with them to taech. I was really sad about that: we can't teach people by pressure. So we talked to his wife and she told us that Manuel is reading the Book of Mormon and that he's honestly pondering on being baptized. She told us he had a dream with his mother this past week, but she didn't tell us what the dream was about. However, she did tell us that it sparked a conversation between them about works for the dead and eternal families. That family is going to come back to church, and Manuel will be baptized: the Lord is really helping them. We thought that after our really spiritual lesson with Laura (the wife/member) that they would come on Sunday. It was really surprising when they didn't. We're working with a little girl named Andrea in a part-member family. The struggle there is that the mom fell in love with the missionary who was here before me and doesn't really have much interest in living the commandments. We watched the Joseph Smith movie with the family, and we can never really say to what extent she was impacted, but she didn't seem to show much change. At least we could bring the Spirit there. I'm studying right now about what President Eyring calls a Spark of Faith. I am trying to have faith in that the Lord never lets a Spark of Faith die in His children, no matter the situation. We're going to teach this family about the atonement and obedience and see what comes of it. We contacted some cool people this week who we're going to be following up with. One of them was a young girl our age: she was in the plaza while we were doing our 12 Week training studies. She was looking at us as we got up to leave, so we talked with her. Her name is Francis: she has a three year old son. Elder Contreras fell in love with her. And the funny thing is, the other day we stopped to buy pinchos, and suddenly this car came around the corner, and we heard this girl shouting, "Mormon! Mormon! Mormon!" It was Francis: she was waving to us as she went by. haha. It was a new experience. Elder Contreras says he's going to marry her. Good old latino love. The mission took the missionaries out of Orocovis and them in Barranquitas today. They sent me and Elder Contreras house hunting for them up there. We got to go into a really nice vacation house of a man in New York. He was willing to rent the house below to the mission. It was really nice! But the mission didn't buy it: they bought another one that was really nice in the pueblo of Barranquitas. They were really intrigued because in the same apartment building there's an empty room where a church used to meet. When I saw that I thought, "The Lord could open a new branch here." I love seeing the work of the Lord move forward: it's really exciting. Anyway, that's all I have for the week! Love you all! Elder Cevering

Monday, September 16, 2013

Email September 16th

Hi Family! This week was a crazy week! Haha. You're going to really enjoy reading this email I think. It all started off last Monday when I get on the computer to write home. I opened your email, and I read some really great news: my good friend Sydney's dad was coming to Puerto Rico and he wanted to visit me! I was super stoked. I responded all excitedly with my address and all. And then I realized: he couldn't visit me. I wanted to be obedient but I wanted to see Sydney's dad so I decided to call president Smartt to see what he'd say, and he said it wouldn't be alright for Roy to visit me. So I quickly rewrote home that Roy couldn't contact me. The next day I was in district meeting and my phone started to ring. I pulled out my phone and saw, for the first time in a long time, the good-old Utah area code: 801. I got really nervous. Haha. But I didn't answer. I received a voice message: "Hi this is Roy Tanner, I'm looking for Elder Mike Cevering..." Man. I had that feeling that I got on Christmas day and Mothers' Day when I called home. In the end, Roy took the package to the office on Tuesday, and I picked it up on Wednesday after a trainers meeting. Thank you so much Tanner family!!! I love you all. And thank you mom for the cookies! So, after picking up my package from the office, Elder Contreras and I start heading back to the mountains. We were almost home when we got a call from the part-member family we're teaching. They invited us to come over that day, and invited us to come over Friday for dinner. We went to their house that night, taught about the plan of salvation, answered her questions about work for the dead and the three degrees of glory, and got into a fun discussion with her very Methodist mom. Her mom was very against works for the dead: so rather than focusing on the reasons why we do works for the dead, we started teaching about the works the dead do for us: the visitation of angels to the prophets in the scriptures, and in that way we began to help them to understand what the Spirit of Elijah is. Now, this is where I hope you will all laugh with me: they then offered us pizza they bought from a nearby restaurant called El Italiano (the Italian). We accepted, and started eating: it was the best pizza I've had on Puerto Rico. Elder Contreras and I both ate three pieces. And by then it was 9:00, but the mom wanted to keep talking to us. She talked and talked about the manifestations of the Holy Ghost in her church, and I suddenly felt something churn in my stomach. And I really, really needed to go to the bathroom. I tried to cut off the conversation, but the woman wouldn't stop talking about how her pastor causes men and women to sleep in the Holy Spirit, and about people that speak in tongues, and flop around on the ground. Blah, blah blah. I was dying. So when we finally left I got in the car and started speeding to the house. ON OUR WAY, we ended up in a neighborhood where someone had died, and Puerto Ricans--being very curious and snoopy--were stopping all around and slowing down, while I was dying in the car. AAAAHHHH. I almost honked, but I knew that would be insensitive to the situation. So I suffered through it, and got home. I took care of my needs, and came out to my desk. About five minutes later, the same pain came back. I told Elder Contreras--who was changing in the other room--that I was going to use the bathroom again. He came out, with a weird look on his face, and said, ""No! You already went! I can't hold it in anymore!" And he goes running into the bathroom. But I needed to go, and the only other bathroom there is in the shed behind the house. So I had to go out with a flashlight to the shed to use the bathroom. The story ends Thursday morning with us staying in the house sick. HAHA. It was nuts. We thought we had food poisoning. But we were fine by Thursday night after taking some medication, and we haven't had problems since. There's my crazy experience for the week. Friday we were planning to go back to their house for dinner: we were really afraid based off our last experience with food at their house, haha. We were thinking about the lesson we wanted to share, and while we were thinking, I had a strong impression that I needed to promise Efrain to find a job soon. So we went and ate and it was really good. Then we watched the Josepth Smith movie with them. Afterwards, we talked about the apostasy and the restoration, and she told us she's stopped going to the methodist church for a number of reasons, then said she believes that the Lord wants her to join our church. We invited her to be baptized, and she accepted. Then I turned to him and asked him if he'd received the priesthood, and he said yes. I then said, "I felt impressed today to promise you that you will find a job." That surprised him, who began telling us she'd had a dream with her deceased father just a few days before and he'd told her the same thing: that he was going to find a job. I was blown away. I was blessed to feel again that great joy of being a witness to the perfect knowledge God has of His children. They aren't married, but they're already in the process to have a wedding. She is getting divorced, and he is trying to find work to save money. But they've already made plans with the branch president to be married. So we're working with them on that. Saturday we had a really great lesson with another part member family. He accepted to be baptized on the 29th of September. He hasn't been reading in the Book of Mormon, which is hurting him. His wife--, the member--doesn't read it or have a testimony of it other than she believes in the proofs that they've found among the indians that show the Book of Mormon really happened. We are going to focus completely on the Book of Mormon with them so that they can gain a testimony together. Yesterday we had stake conference: imagine this. This is why I love being a missionary in Puerto Rico. This is one of the things that motivates me to be a missionary. The Caguas stake is composed of more area of the island than any other stake. It takes up all of the southeast corner, halfway up to the northeast corner, and stretches even further than the middle of the island into the west because of the mountains. However, the stake conference we had was hardly more full than a typical ward in Utah. I was astounded! It's not just that there aren't a lot of members, but also that a lot of members aren't willing to make the sacrifice to drive an hour to their conference. It made me feel excited to be a missionary: as did something the stake president did: he talked about preach my gospel in his talk, and asked us missionaries to hand out copies of preach my gospel to every family there. We did that, and the excitement in the members' faces was really great to see. The stake president told them all that we, the missionaries, will be going to their houses to teach them principles from preach my gospel in order to help them become like us. Haha. It was a really spiritual experience. I also got to talk to President Alvarado after the conference: I love that man so much! He is currenlty working for the church education system in the Caribean: he's going to Haiti tomorrow to do some work, and he'll be there until the 21st. It made me jealous: that's what I would love in my future. This week we have some cool goals: we're going to secure some baptismal dates, and we're working on some little things that will strengthen and unify the branch. We're going to make a journal of testimonies of the branch members. We're going to take it to the houses of the members when we go to teach them from preach my gospel, ask them to write their testimonies and favorite scriptures in it, then take a picture of them and put that picture of them with their testimonies later on. That way we can take the testimonies of the members to the houses of other members, and they will be unified by testimony. AND THEN we will take that notebook to investigators, less-active members, and inactive members, and it will be a powerful tool to the rescuing of souls. We're really excited about it. Another thing we're going to do is make little packages of things for the members: something with a picture of Christ in it, a quote from a prophet, and a scripture about zion, and then put a picture of us in it with a note that tells them we love them. We're going to doorbell ditch the members and leave them those packages. We haven't figured out all the details, but it's going to be cool. The work is going well here in PUERTO RICO. It's not all fun and games: it's hard. But it's good I love you all a lot and I miss you and hope you're all well. Elder Cevering

Monday, September 9, 2013

Email September 9, 2013

Hello Family! This past week went by really fast: I think it was Thursday I was at the house thinking how slow I'd felt the week was passing, but I was wrong. It was a really great week! The temperature dropped more due to a "tropical storm" that did basically nothing, but just brought a lot of rain. But that made our water freezing cold to shower in. Woo hoo for cold mountain water! I'll start from Sunday and go backwards: there is a chapel here in Aibonito because at one time the branch was really strong. It's a nice little chapel, but it needs to be filled with people. The attendance was higher this week because members were able to make it. The only thing that frustrates me is that we have sacrament first so everyone just leaves right after: which is really ironic considering they just renovated (renewed?) their covenants. The word in Spanish is renovar your covenants: I don't know if renovated makes sense or not. It's fun to learn a new language and mix it up with your old one. It brings a lot of laughs :) That's something you can look forward to when I'm home. Saturday I was in Orocovis with Elder Mena: it was really fun. Orocovis is the heart of the island and they have a landmark to show the exact middle of Puerto Rico. But we didn't take a picture...I'll have to go back. We taught a woman who is a pure antichrist: I won't talk too much about what she said, but she brought up a lot of controversial topics such as the word of wisdom, etc. and wanted to know what we'd say. We answered her questions, but she was never in agreement with what we taught. At one point she just started telling us we are living commandments made by men, so I just told her: "Teresa, the reality is that I've knelt down and prayed to God to know what's true, and I've received an answer. That's all a person needs to do to know of truth." She just fell quiet for five minutes and then brought up another controversial topic to discuss. Elder Mena just laughed through a lot of it because she was so ridiculous haha. She told us she doesn't want to go to heaven because it will be "boring.” Funny lady! We then taught a man named Tito. He's a single father who has big desires to change his life. We taught him the restoration and he accepted a baptismal invitation. He's come to church twice, and his sons have come too. I really want to see him grow in his testimony: he needs a lot of help in his life to overcome his struggles. Back here in Aibonito we saw some really cool miracles: we are teaching two part member families. The first is the Collazo family: the wife is an inactive member, but the husband isn't a member. We went to teach them Wednesday night but only Manuel--the husband--was there. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, and he told us he believes the church is true. His big struggle is that he's afraid to be baptized because he sees that his wife is inactive, and he doesn't want to find a reason to go inactive. It's interesting, but he accepted a baptismal invitation. We have a lesson with he and his wife this Wednesday night, and we're going to have a killer lesson. Another one of the part member families is Efrain and Almaris: Almaris is Methodist, but she was watching The Testaments with Efrain and when she saw Christ coming down from the heavens to the Nephites she said she felt pure love flow through her, and she felt that it was true and started to cry and cry. That made her start reading the Book of Mormon. We visited her and just talked about her beliefs and such, and left her with a scripture from 1 Corinthians to learn about the apostasy. There's a great scripture from the apostle Paul there where he tells them that they need to stop making divisions of churches and teaching different things, but that they need to be united in the name of Christ. It's been a really great scripture for teaching the apostasy to people. Unfortunately, Roma's sister never called me Monday and when I called her on Tuesday her husband answered and told me he'd have her call me, but she hasn't yet. It's a typical Puerto Rican thing: they're very spontaneous. For example, we visited an inactive man in Barranquitas, and as we were talking with him he invited us to make some pastries with us. He hadn't been planning to do that, but he wanted to do it with us, so he did. And we were there for another hour making the pastries and eating them. That's something I love about the culture: they're not so organized and strict to schedules or closed off to random, long visits. They just accept you in and cook for you and talk to you. It's so great. Another great thing that happened was a man in a car stopped us: he told us he stopped because he was attracted to Elder Contreras' eyes. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he invited us to go to his house. Then we shook his hand, and he rubbed his cheek on my hand, then kissed Elder Contreras' hand. It was really fun to tell people about. Well, I love you all a lot! Have a great week! It's almost Christmas. Elder Cevering

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Email September 3, 2013

Hello from Aibonito! It's been a super fun week! I love it up here in the mountains. I left from Carolina last Tuesday, having spent Monday night with some families from the ward. I didn’t cry but it was really sad to leave from Carolina. Leaving the bishop's house Monday night was tough, but I was ready for a change. I arrived up here in the mountains around 11:00 in the morning, and we spent about 4 hours in the house of a member before coming the rest of the way up to Aibonito. It was fun: I placed chess with an elder from Guatemala, got to know some elders from my district, and ate rice and beans :) The area I'm in is the biggest mountain range on the island: Aibonito, Barranquitas, and Orocovis. It's nice and cool up here: I sleep without a fan and without an air conditioner. I even slept with pajama pants on two nights. WOO HOO. They called me to be the district leader again, which is cool. My companion and I cover Aibonito and Barranquitas, and the other elders cover Orocovis, so I finally have a small district. But the area is much bigger haha. And the branch in Aibonito is composed of the whole mountain range. It's a growing branch: yesterday there were 19 people at church, but the week before there were 54. My companion and his last companion reactivated a lot of members, but they didn't come yesterday. I'm not worried about that, but we're going to work hard to keep the attendance growing. There's a lot of reactivating to do here! My companion's name is Elder Contreras: he's a greenie from Honduras. So we speak all Spanish, and he's got a lot of desire to work and help the branch grow. He's really great. I'm finishing his training, which I had no idea about until I got here. He might be the companion I've gotten along with best in the mission so far. Like I was saying, the branch here is small, so we're working in the basics to help it grow. We went to the branch president's house the other day so I could get to know him. I talked with him about D&C 128:11 and told him he holds the keys to the strengthening of the branch--this is how we started working with the bishop in Carolina. Haha. I told him I would be reporting to him and asking him for direction, and I told him I wanted him to give me answers. The zone leaders laughed when I told them that. They said, "He has great desires, but he does need a push." So I figure that's what we'll give him: a little push. And it seemed to work: yesterday we had a meeting with him and we set up a night to leave with him this week to visit less-active members. He didn't even hesitate to accept. We want to start an english class up here to invite members to, and to try to find investigators. People have been really positive about it. I saw how it worked in Carolina, and I have no doubt that it will work here as well. It will strengthen relationships between members, and people will get the chance to enter an unthreatening environment in the church. And that's what we want: we want the members to come back, we want non-members to "come and see" what we do and feel comfortable. To do that we're going to be doing mission activities, and so on. The focus is fellowship and conversion: not just fellowship!!! We're also pondering on making a calendar with ward members for nights to visit them to talk to them about Preach My Gospel and involve them a little bit in the mission training manual "The 12 Week Program." When I trained Elder Castaneda I was asked to make a 6 week version of the 12 week program, and I want to see if we can utilize that to help members become more active in sharing the gospel. Since transfers are only six weeks long it'd be a perfect idea. There aren't a lot of investigators up here. Most of the baptisms that they'd had in the past months have been the children of members who are reactivating themselves in the church. The only investigator we have is named Zuly: she's been learning for about 5 months, but she's not married to her boyfriend. However, her boyfriend is supposedly moving out soon, and that's what she's been waiting for. We'll see what happens. She told us his luggage has been packed for a week now. We are trying to frequent the plaza of Aibonito right now. In his last transfer, Elder Contreras and his companion did a lot more driving than walking. I want to be out and about so people can see us and talk with us, and it's already worked. It was ironic because Elder Contreras was telling me he wanted to have an experience where someone stopped him in the street to talk to him: and that very same day that happened. We were walking back to the house from the plaza and out of nowhere a man on the other side of a fence stopped us and told us he'd once been learning from the missionaries and wanted us to pass by his house again to teach him. It was really cool. Right after that we were contacting a guy on the corner of a street and a car drove by and stopped. A man inside said, "Hey, I want you to come talk to me." We excitedly went over, and his car just smelled like beer. He looked at Elder Contreras and said, "You have the most appealing eyes, I had to stop and talk to you." We talked for just a minute and gave him a Book of Mormon and some cards with our numbers on them. Then as we said goodbye, he took my hand and rubbed it on his cheek. Then he took Elder Contreras' hand and kissed it. HAHA. It was a crazy experience. On Saturday we met up with a family from Carolina who wanted us to meet some of their family here in Aibonito. We went and ate hamburgers, and then they introduced us to about 13 people. We played basketball with some kids and they invited us back to play. We want to start playing basketball at the church and invite youth to come. Some members have said they'd come if we did that. We'll see if that works out. Today we're supposed to meet up with the sister of Roma and eat. When I talked with her the other day she was super excited for us to visit. She said, "I want you to teach my family! We're all Christains." So we'll see how that goes: I'm really excited! At church we were asked to teach the primary kids: that was crazy. Haha. Anyway, love you all! Things are going good here in Aibonito. Elder Cevering