Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

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

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