Sunday, July 29, 2012


First day here in Sao Paulo airport.  (I feel ever grosser than I look!)

Me and meu otimo professor! Irmao Israel (last name is Martinez I think?)

The awesome view from my bedroom on the 7th floor (the side with less city buildings.)

My district gettin' some drinks.  Our favorite thing to do on P-Day :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 24, 2012

.....Being DL has been good. One of the first goals I set was an English fast that we just finished today. We started yesterday after lunch and didn't speak English until lunch today, which we had at a Rodizio! OOOMMMGG DELLLIICCCIOUSSNNESSS =) =) Had probably half a cow, even the heart! Which was the best =) (the chicken hearts sucked) But yeah anyways, the fast was good. Me and my companion did a real fast as well and I think it really helped my district. It was hard writing David & Laura's letter this morning because I was thinking in Portugese... here comes the Portugese dreams, right?

$400?!?!?!?!?! Ooooh my gosh, I started lol-ing when I read that? Is my car really that pathetic. I love my JUB jub... poor thing.... take Riley for a spin in that thing, so what if he crashes it! Ha, so sad. BTW driving down here is crazzzzy! And yeeeah, I did hear about the Dark Knight killer thing... reached all the way down to Brazil. My district has been teasing the crap out of me about the Dark Knight, sacrificing not seeing it and leaving early! I can't wait to see it! But don't tell me ANYTHING!
Yeeeup, hump day! Flew by quick, eh? Also has seemed like I've been a missionary forever too though.
Well, I love you muito and I'll talk to y'all next week!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 10, 2012

Pizza Party at the MTC!
Elder Anderson & Elder Cetraro

July 17, 2012

So news from me.... it's actually been kind of eventful! Said goodbye to my old roommates. Love those guys... I thought it would be hard to replace them but guess what! My new roommates are soooo COOL! They are from freaking AFRICA! They showed up late Thursday night while we were in bed so I hopped out and helped them. One, Elder Fernades, is 23 and was converted when he was 21. The other is like 20, Elder Freire, and is always laughing. They are so "fixe" (cool) and we became best friends instantly. You guys need to go onto and watch the new video on the church in Africa and that is exactly how I feel about these guys. They have such powerful testimonies. It just shines through them. They have so little, but they have so much to give. They came here with no money but they have been taken care of by all the Elder friends they have made. They are always bearing their testimonies to us. They speak only Portuguese so it really makes me want to learn more so I can connect with them. The first couple of nights they were here we played a bunch of circle games with them and our other friends that require little or no language.  (We've learned so many fun games this week in class and at night its been so much fun) and I don't think we've ever laughed so hard. Elder Freire laughed so hard he cried.
So that's been fun. Also something big that has happened is this last Sunday I was appointed the DL [District Leader] of our district. Our old DL got bumped up to AP [Assistant to the President] so I got the spot. Sooo yeah. I think I'll do a good job. I've done a lot of the goal setting and getting us to focus in our district. I also know though that I have much to learn and that this calling just means I get to serve more. Which I am ready for.
I love you all, and I hope your summer unfolds with many more adventures =)
Com Amor,
Seu Élder,
Èlder Cetraro!

**Note from the Editor: Here are the links to the videos Zac refers to in the letter above- "Emerging with Faith in Africa."

The Church In Africa Part One
The Church in Africa Part Two: Bernice's Story
The Church in Africa Part Three: Mahmud's Story

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2010

Hey y'all! Tudo bom? tudo bem! Hope y'all's summer is going as well as when I left. My... winter? (it is like May weather) down here. The Sao Paulo MTC has been pretty "Legal" as they would say down here. (I guess Legal is cool in Brazil ;) Sao Paulo is a pretty city, and it's sweet because on P-days they let us out and let us wander the streets. It is a whole different world down here. The language is coming along really well and I've made a lot of good buds, especially with the Brazilians. Last night I had to say goodbye to my two cute lil Brazilian roommates =(. I have already been dubbed two nicknames. All the Americans call me C-tro and the Brazilians call me Moroni. lol Well I'm loving all the great things I'm learning and I'm excited to get out to the field! write me for more! ;)
America day was AWESOME!! We sang lots of American songs. And we got everyone to get up and sing the national anthem during lunch although I don't think we were suppose to.. (I think we started a new tradition though because they had the Argentinan's sing their anthem yesterday at lunch for their Independence day) and for lunch we had somewhat of an American meal.. hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, and ICE CREAM! =) That night was the South American cup, Brazil's Corinthinans versus Boca from Argentina? Someone projected the game on a building and so we watched the game and oh my gosh we got our fourth of July fireworks.... ALL NIGHT!! Good stuff. 
Alrighty, well all is good down here I'll have to tell you about my 2nd TRC lesson all in Portuguese. It went AMAZING =) we really do get divine help. 
C’ya and love ya!

July 3, 2012

Heyy Heyyy!! It's been another long and starting to get repetitive week. But it's all good! muito bom! Things are good! I just finished writing back 3 of my missionary friends and you guys. This week has been interesting! We got a new companion. Elder Andres-Miller? We call him Elder hyphen. Yeeea, so now I'm finally in a couple. Fun stuff! The language is coming along good, I have been told by many teachers, Brazilians and other Elders that I am doing really good for being such a noobie! Ha, oh my gosh! I want to figure out a way that maybe you can watch my first TRC. It is where they videotape us giving lessons all in PORTUGUESE!! It was so funny because the investigators were members so they were helping us the whole time. Ha, and out of me and my companion, I did ALL the talking. Very slowly though.
The Brazilians are super fun. We have kind of made a little clique of Elders that all are on our floor and every night they come over to our bedroom and we talk and talk and talk. They are fun, and it's awesome how much fun we can have even though we can barely speak each other's language. Ha, at the same time too, it is a little annoying because we go to bed later than we are suppose to and I try to write letters and work out but they keep pulling me away. Speaking of working out... I have gained weight! Ha about 5-10 pounds I think... but it will definitely just be a phase here at the MTC I promise! We just get fed so much it is kind of annoying. Lunch is like at noon and its big and tasty and then we have dinner again at 4:30, and I'm not even hungry but I pig out once again! It's interesting food, gotta love it =)
I am definitely going to miss my 2 Brazilian roommates. They are leaving next week. They have told me I am their favorite American ;) one speaks (Elder Carlos Tomas I think... he is from Ceara, my area!) alright English and he loves dumb blonde jokes and the other one I just found out is from the Amazon, and he had to canoe to the airport to get here!
Anyways.... That's good to hear from you guys. Poor Keegan in her cast, oh well. Wow, and Camp Cetraro is this week! I was thinking about that! You can tell the Cetraros that I am really enjoying everyone calling me by “Cetraro”. It’s definitely sinking in now. It is weird to think that everyone I meet will know me by that name, it's awesome! Representing it down here in Brazil! Ha, it is funny though, the Americans can't say it down here, but most of the Brazilians say it with ease. I was dubbed elder C-tro last night by one of the Americans! Ha!
Well let me know how everything goes, I am psyched for "America Day" this Wednesday. I hear they try to feed us American food and a HUGE game is going on down the street. Brazil vs. Argentina that night so we will definitely get our fireworks! So yeah!
Gotta go get my Brazilian Cetraro jersey, so peace! Love y'all!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

a letter from the mtc president

Elder Cetraro and new missionaries at the Brazil, Sao Paulo LDS Temple

June 28, 2012
Dear Family,
We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary´s recent visit to the temple.  The morning they enter as a group is a very sacred experience for them, and it is an experience that is always anticipated with much excitement. We know they will treasure this remembrance. It is a great honor to serve with each of these fine young people and to watch their growth as they learn more about their sacred calling of a missionary.  We have a great love and respect for each one of them.Thank you for your support for them.  They love to receive emails and letters from you, and feel of your love.  We know that your family will feel the blessings of their service.
Sincerely, President and Sister Degn

june 26, 2012 (zac's first letter!)

Ooops.. clicked a wrong button... kinda weird keyboards here. Anyways...
This has honestly been the longest week of my life! In a good way though,
I can't believe its only been one week, its seems like 3. But you know me
the days are just long because I am constantly doing things, and that's
good! =)
That is cool though that is has been a year for Tay and Ty, flew by quick!
Times that by 2 and that's how long I'm going to be gone. Not bad eh?
There is some simple math for ya!
The MTC has been great. Sao Paulo is a pretty sweet city. I guess it is like
the world's 3rd largest city and I can believe it. I feel like I am in a valley of
skyscrapers because the horizons are just walls of beautiful white
skyscrapers, and it is so pretty. It is kinda like cloud city in The Empire
Strikes back ;). I live in the 7th floor so I've got a fantastic view! I can send
you pictures once I get to Fortaleza. I'd take more, but they have a weird
camera rule (along with many other weird rules) here at the MTC. But yes,
the Mission President is from Wellsville, I haven't talked to him much but
It'll be fun to see if we have any connections.
I am constantly with my district. It consists of the brother and sister from
Provo. A farm boy from Pleasant view, and I have a threesome
companionship with Elder (Christopher) Yost and Elder (Aric) Anderson.
Being in a companionship is HARD!!! I am so independent so I'm always
getting in trouble wandering off without them. It isn't bad besides that, but
I'm sure I'll get use to it.
One of the Coolest things about the MTC here is that half of the kids here
are Brazilian and therefore don't speak English. But everyone (even the
Americans) are super friendly. So I am constantly using and practicing
my Portuguese as I meet these people. I room with 2 Brazilians and they
are sooooo CUTE! They are little and I am always telling them "Eu Te
Amo" (I love you) and they blush up!
The Language is fun! The hardest thing is it is pronounced funny and stuff.
It is soooo much like Spanish though! Kinda good and bad. Because it
seems like half the time I use a Spanish word for something, they correct
me and tell me it is something different in Portuguese. and the other half of
the time I learn a word in Portuguese and its exactly the same as in
Spanish! and I'm like doh, I could of been using that word.
Alrighty it's P-day, so I get to go wander the streets right after this, I think I
might buy a customized Brazilian soccer jersey that will have my name on
it. I'm excited. I also went to the temple today and it was so cool.
Allright, Love y'all! Tenyam um bom semana! Eu Te Amo Muito!
-Elder Zac Cetraro
P.S. I'm not sure if my letter has gotten back yet or not but I actually did a
have a lil panic attack earlier when I couldn't find my slacks. It was more of
this is going to suck wearing the same 2 pairs of pants for the rest of the
summer. But magically the slacks started to appear as I started to pull out
new shirts off the hangar. Hahaha it is real funny now that I look back.

Zac’s updated MTC address:

Elder Zachary Cetraro
Box #24, District 25-A, Brazil MTC
Brazil Fortaleza Mission
Rua Padre, Antonio D’Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, Sao Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040
After 8 weeks send all letters directly to the Mission Home

a letter from the mtc president

Elder Cetraro with the new MTC arrivals and President & Sister Degn
June 20,2012
Dear Parents,                     
We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: "There is no mortal man that is as interested in the success of an elder when he is preaching the Gospel as is the Lord who sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children."
Please accept our love,
President Ralph Degn and Sister Mary Ann Degn

DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center.All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving, not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package cannot be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you.
We strongly encourage sending handwritten letters. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.