Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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

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