Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

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

No comments:

Post a Comment