Elder Michael Cevering

Elder Michael Cevering
Puerto Rico, San Juan Mission

Monday, December 9, 2013

Email December 9, 2013

Hello family! This was a pretty good week. I'm really surprised at how fast all these weeks are going by. There's a part of me that just wants December to already be over and be able to say: "I did it! All of 2013 is now behind me. One ENTIRE year in the mission field under my belt. The most challenging, heart-wrenching, yet edifying year of my life is now behind me. Now I can move forward to 2014 and all that it has to bring." That's exactly what I'm going to say on January 1st. I'm going to open the door to the cold mist of Aibonito and shout: HELLO 2014, I'M ELDER CEVERING." And then somewhere in the distance a Puerto Rican will shout back: "AMEN!" And I'll be happy. I'm in a really good mood this morning. I slept really good last night! It's a perfect temperature outside: good old 70 degree weather. The sun is out, which means we'll have warm water tomorrow. And Elder Contreras got three emails from his girlfriend. It's a good, good day. The BIG news: a new member moved into the branch! I'm super excited. His name is Junior. He served a mission in Panama I believe and he's a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. I was shocked when I heard he was moving in. I remembered all the men that suddenly moved in to Carolina and remembered the major impact they had on the ward, and realized this man will be able to do the same thing here. It's all part of the Lord's pattern of building up His kingdom. I'm excited to be here. To be honest, not a lot happened this week. Our car battery died so we had to go down the mountain to get a new one. Elder Contreras was sick with the flu, so we weren't always out on the job. We went one day to the chapel because I wanted to download some Christmas music to my ipod. That was when disaster striked: all my music on my ipod was erased. So, naturally I wanted it back, so I just started buying music. That's why you'll see a big bill on my credit card mom. Do you want to go in half-and-half on the bill as part of Christmas? haha. I felt so stupid after I bought the music cause I realized: how many missionaries have all this music and could have just given it to me? I acted without thinking. But I'm really happy: I got some songs I'd really been wanting to listen to and it's made having a car much more enjoyable because now we have new music. We had a really great lesson last night with Amarilis and her mom Anna. Anna's been reading the Book of Mormon. In fact, she read the testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith that's in the beginning of the Book of Mormon, and when she finished she saw where the book says to read in the Pearl of Great Price to find the whole story, and she called Amarilis to ask, "Where's the Pearl of Great Price? I want to keep reading the story of Joseph Smith." We read the first two chapters of the Book of Mormon with her last night. "HALLELUJAH" she said after reading about the pillar of fire that appeared before Lehi. It was probably the most entertaining reading of the Book of Mormon I've ever been a part of. And the Spirit was there, so we were able help her understand the purpose of the Book of Mormon and the promises it contains. She says she believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God and called it "different" from other books that testify of Christ. She used the word "different" in a good way too. While we discussed the introduction of the Book of Mormon where it tells us that if the Book is true then the church is true, she asked us why it was so important that we all have the same "opinion" about the things of God. To answer, we pulled out a hymn book and asked her to hold it and then let go of it. When she did, it fell to the ground. We asked, "What happened?" She said, "It fell because of gravity." We asked her to pick up the book again and drop it, asking her if she thought it would fall to the floor again if she let it go. She said she believed it would fall, and it did. We repeated the process and the question, and everyone said we believed the book would fall to the floor when she let go of it the third time: and it did. That was when we talked about absolute truths with her. I told her, "Opinions about God can't save us. True doctrine saves us." to which she nodded and said, "Okay, I understand." So we'll see what comes of it. We invited her to continue praying and reading, and I think something great can come of it. We might go with her to her church this week. We'll see what happens. I'd really like to go but I also don't want to cause any contention. One of our Zone leaders was called to be the new assistant to the president. That was just a little bit sad because we all got along so well. But the elder that came to replace him is an elder from my group: Elder Baldwin. He plays the piano too, so now our branch has a piano player and it made a huge difference in the reverence and spirit of sacrament meeting. The members were so happy when they arrived and heard him playing Christmas songs in the chapel. We're going to plan a special musical number too where I'll sing and he'll play. I'm excited. Good things are happening! Well, I love you all a lot and hope your passing this Christmas happily and safely! Elder Cevering

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