Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 24, 2012

MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!! I have been doing a lot of splits. Well yeeeaaah, I guess it paid off! His name is Adriano Cardoso do Nascimento. I met him on a split, he is in the Zone Leader’s area. Our first visit with him was amazing. First, me and Elder Santos da Silva arrived early and we had dinner with them. He is the most humble man I have ever met. You just kinda want to hug the guy he seems so humble. Anyways that day was one of the first days I really felt discouraged about the work. But his experience was amazing. The others Elders showed up and we started a lesson. We asked him if he had received an answer (and this is the good part) and he said he did. I guess before there was a challenge with the Book of Mormon to just open it up and you will find your answer. So he showed us the scripture he found and it was Ether 8:26.

“Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.”

I was blown away. Anyways, I probably did 4 other follow up lessons with him. They have been focusing on him because he is a man with a family. But I think where he grew to like me the most though was at church, because I would always sit next to him (he is very shy) and explain things. One testimony I shared with him was about faith. How I understand how he feels with being very new. But you have got to act on what God already has given you. So yeeeah, during his interview he chose me to baptize him. I found out like 16 hours before the baptism. Crazy huh? The baptism was great =) I was fasting before I found out and I continued to fast until the baptism. So it was good. Awesome huh?!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Photos from the Sao Paulo MTC

Sao Paulo Skyline

Streets of Sao Paulo

America Day (July 4th) at the Sao Paulo MTC

American MTC Friends

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012

…..That is cool about the Brigham City Temple. I will have to check it out when I return! I hope they have a Temple soon here in Fortaleza ;) It’s under construction. There also was about 1 million Catholics visiting my town this week so is was overflowing... kinda cool.
         Ha! My companion is trying to go on a diet right now. I told him he should just stop eating sweets. But when he went shopping the other day he bought about 4 rolls of cookies. He says cookies aren’t considered sweets here because everybody eats them. Hahaha, which is true, they have a whole aisle here dedicated to just rolls and bags of cookies.
         So about the work. I am doing really well. Everybody tells me I am going to be a great missionary and they can’t believe I have only been here for a month. The language is pretty good. Inside of lessons I can usually say and testify about anything. The Lord helps with that I´m sure. I am working and studying hard though. In the morning and nights I am constantly studying or writing or doing something.
         One thing that is super hilarious is that everyone wants all my stuff. You did a good job soupin’ me up with good stuff. My comp wants my shorts and Camelback, and the other wants my ties and watch, and the other wants my iPod. His name is Elder Santos da Silva, he is like my best friend here. I don´t really need an iPod here and they don’t have them in Brazil so yeah.
Anyways...   I’ve got to go but I love ya!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


The two funniest kids in the MTC, my companion, Elder Anderson; and Elder Martinez, the Argentinean who learned good English from playing Pokemon

Elder Fernandes is the one on the left. He was the very heartfelt one that always bore his testimony. Elder Friere is the one on the right. He was so funny and ate like no other.

The shopping spree funded by Zac’s debit card for Elder Fernandes and Elder Friere 

MTC Roomies

Sao PauloTemple in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo Temple with companion Elder Anderson 

The Brazilians Zac lives with. Elder Galves (his companion), Elder Santos da Silva and Elder, Queiroz (two zone leaders) and Elder Cetraro

Campinas Temple Visit

Dear Family,
We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary´s recent visit to the Campinas 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.
 President and Sister Degn

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012

…..This week was a good week. We have been traveling up in an area that is like the “Cliffside” of this valley. B-E-A-UTIFUL. Made me realize how much I miss the mountains. We have a group of kids around our age that we have been working on. I think we have 1 definitely going to be baptized and another one maybe. Today was mixed up a little. We played B-ball with another district and had another BBQ. It was great.
I learned something this week. All this time I have been expecting everybody to help me. But I learned this week that no, I am SERVING, which means I am here to help everybody around me - even my companion. If he is slacking, I need to step up. He got sick this weekend and I think he realized that as well.

 Love y´all!
-E. Cetraro.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September 5, 2012

Okay, finally ready for some info!?!  So I am in Juazeiro do Norte. Apparently it is the crib of leader and great missionaries and a real privilege. The church is very new here, I think it was like 10 years ago they opened it. So it is real work here. The best way I can describe it is that it is the Mos Eisley, Tattooine of Planet Earth. Reaally HOT, always sweating inside or outside. In the middle of a desert, kinda don’t even know what it is doing here. Not a lot of big buildings but everything is made up of real compacted houses and markets. Everybody just chills out in the streets, so the streets are always full of people.  There are speeder bikes always zooming by (motorcycles) full of interesting characters and sometimes I feel like I am in a whole new world because of the language =P pretty cool. I guess President either thought I was a good leader or a “small town" boy.

So yeah, I am in the Field! I love it! It has been real good. It didn´t take long for me to learn to love the people. The members are exceptionally nice, having lunch with them everyday really fills me up. They really have a love for the missionaries because pretty much all of them are converts. This last Sunday was testimony meeting. I understood everything and there is a young lady who has helped us a lot in our lessons. She has been very helpful and I feel like I have really helped her out as well with her struggles with her non-member family and the love for missionary work. She bore her testimony and said something that hit me so hard. She said "Cada Élder é um anjo" or "Each Elder is an Angel" =) =) But it I´ve been reading a lot about angels in the Joseph Smith story and in the book of Moses. And I am honored to be considered one. The descriptions are just... glorious, ha. In Moses 5, in like the second to last verse it says that angels have preached the gospel since the beginning of time. So yeah, Heavenly sent messengers, what an honor. It has been easy to love the investigators as well.

Okay my companion. E. Galves. He is a cool kid. President says he is full of enthusiasm. He is a great kid, and a suuuuper great missionary. We both started out from scratch here and he has done an excellent job at getting us started. He is really direct with the investigators with commitments, which helps them get along a lot easier. I have helped him a ton with English, he is going to be fluent by the time our time is over ;)
The experience over all is great! I am learning a lot and the work is getting done. I promise in the next 2 weeks I will have a baptism.. or 2. It is so great. I love learning and applying the gospel. I love the people, the food, and my friends. So Yeah... ya have any questions.. let me know!
-Elder Cetraro