Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Email October 14, 2013

(Just a side note...Monte is Michael's uncle. He is a physical therapist and the mission president gave permission for him to call Michael so he could try to pinpoint the problem with Michael's abdomen over the phone and help give him some exercises to do that will help to heal and strengthen it so he can feel better.) Hello family! This week was a pretty good week: how could it not be when I got to talk to Monte? He called me and started talking to me in Spanish. I was really glad he got to call me. What he told me makes a lot of sense: but it also really frustrated me because I want a quick solution to this problem. After a year of carrying this dead-weight ab around I'm just really tired, and to think about 10 more months of it is really frustrating, I'm not going to lie. I trust Monte's advice, and I'm following it, but it's still really a downer to me that there isn't a faster solution. Paaaaaaaaaaaaaatience. I'm learning that humility is not about not wanting power and authority: it's about being willing to exercise that power and authority in the way the Lord wants you to use it. Alright, enough about me. I was really excited when yesterday Amarilie came to church: and she loved it. After sacrament meeting we sat down with she and her husband, and she said she felt really weird in our church because it was so different from the Methodist church. But I asked her what it was that she felt besides feeling weird, and she said she felt a lot of peace. She believes the church is true, but there are a lot of doctrines she doesn't understand. We have a really good lesson planned to help her understand works for the dead, but we haven't been able to teach her. That's part of why I was so happy she came to church: we hadn't taught her during the week but she still came! One of our investigators died this past week: he had a problem in his liver that caused his stomach to swell. The other day I guess he started throwing up blood and it got stuck in his throat. What a horrible way to die. We didn't know he'd died either until we visited his friend: the situation is sad, but the story is really funny. We went and we were talking to this guy's friend--he's one of our investigators too, his name is Junito--and we asked him, "Hey how's Jose?" And he said, "He died." And that was it. Ha. You had to have been there to here how he said it and all: it was as if he were used to his best friends dying or something. But he was sad: he came down with a fever the day after and was in the hospital as well for flu-like symptoms, but they did tests on him and found he was fine, so we think he was just really hurt by the death of Jose. We received an assignment from the stake presidency to clean out the member lists, so we left with a member this past week to find where some people lived. Here in the mountains--and in a lot of jungle areas--it's difficult to find some houses because all that is recorded is a kilometer number or a number of the plot of land where the people live. So naturally members are the best source for finding other members. It's always surprising to me that they ask the missionaries to clean out the lists when the members know where literally every other member lives. But it's good, I kind of enjoy looking for the inactive members. They usually all love the missionaries but don't really have any desire to come back to church. They ask us how members are doing and tell us how long it's been since they've seen them: sad right? The home teaching program of basically every ward and branch in Puerto Rico is called Elder or Sister so-and-so. That's one of the reasons the church hasn't had good retention here. We had a cool experience Thursday: our morning plans fell through so we decided we would head back to the house and eat lunch earlier and then leave to work on the member list. On our way, Elder Contreras said, "Hey let's stop and say hi to Irmaris." Irmaris is one of our potential investigators who owns an herbalife here in Aibonito. She works a lot, so we've not been able to have a real lesson with her. We went and talked to her and while we were there this girl walked in with her son and she bought some things. Then she went to leave and I felt this overwhelming feeling that I needed to talk to her. I fought with myself for a second, then jumped up and followed her out to her car where I talked to her about the Book of Mormon. She was really interested, and was super surprised that I was talking to her, as if I'd read her mind or something. I knew, and I can never explain how it is that sometimes you just know, but I knew it was an answer to her prayer or someone's prayer. She gave us her number and we're going to be calling her this week. So, that's all to report here from PUERTO RICO. I ate a lot of fruit last week. I had pineapple for dinner, and coconut water. :) I really love Puerto Rico so much. When the day comes to leave I'll cry. Puerto Ricans are so great: they have really random sayings here. That's what the title of this email is: a Puerto Rican saying. "...les subio la chuleta" is another way of saying that someone got angry. "Les" is a way to referring to a group of people, "subio" means to rise or go up, and "la chuleta" means the pork chop. So essentially, the saying is that their pork chop rose up. HAHA. Love you all! Thank you so much for your love and support! Elder Cevering

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