Monday, December 31, 2012

Baptism Jerseys

Elder Galvez and Elder Cetraro sporting their Baptism Jerseys

New Companion Elder Hodson (lower right) and Roommates

Overlooking Juazeiro do Norte

P-Day in front of statue of Padre Cicero

Zac with New Member - Brother Donizete

Talent show - Zac with Companion, Elder Hodson, playing Be Still My Soul and The Scientist

Zac and roommates celebrating 6 month mark - Zac is 6-months in and others are 6-months from going home

Zac with 6-month pizza (Sign says Elder Cetraro - 6-Months)

Zac with Jaguar Skin - Grrrrr!

Zac and Elder Hodson getting in the Christmas Spirit

Christmas Feast

Zac and roommates didn't get any of their presents. What they did get was from the Relief Society - Thank You Sisters!

Make shift Christmas Tree made from a water cooler

Zac participating with the members in a Just Dance Party! People just don't know how much of a fun partier Elder Cetraro is.

So I thought it was funny how in your email about Montana of course you had to mention about the food. I think you can look back in my journal too and about half the things I mention are the food. So here I sent a picture of the dinner we had New Years Eve. WOOOOWW comida linda! I don’t think I will ever eat something so pretty again. I really am not even jealous of the food you guys are eating up in Montana. Because just for y'all to understand... I eat like I am in Montana... everyday!! Lol, luckily usually it is only one meal but followed by many snacks from everyone. Also... last week was my 6 month mark, It just happened to land on the End of the World Eve as well!! hahahaha so it was a funny night, we ordered pizzas and kidded around. Got some pictures of that. It is funny though because everyone I am living with basically just has 6 months left! Hahahaha, so here I am saying to myself "ooh man.... 6 months.." and they are like "ooh man... 6 months!" to themselves as well.

Alrighty, I put a couple pictures of Christmas in here as well. Ha, Christmas morning we all slept together in our "ironing/workout" room. We made a little decoration thingy to be festive. Unfortunately nobody had any presents because of slackers in Fortaleza but the Relief Society gave us a huge bag of goodies that looked really good under our tree, ha. It was fun. A couple days after we had a "Just Dance" activity. And guess who was all over that. THIS GUY! Ha oh my gosh, I don’t think the Brazilians here ever have seen a party animal like me before. Ha it was good though because I got a lot of people to participate. So that was super fun. I love dancing. But yeeeaahh it has been a long week for me.... it was filled with fun! Everyday has been very eventful; I can almost say that my holidays competed with yours! Our mission made a goal to have 2060 baptisms this year and we hit it! (There were actually 2060 Sons of Helaman). And yeah, today we just played some basketball, watched Brave for the 3rd week in a row, had a BBQ with a member and we will spend the rest of New Year's Eve with the same members as Christmas eve tonight... ha they are the best! 

So yeeeah. It’s been great. I am super happy, talking to you guys was the cherry on the top of it all. I loved hearing your loving Mom voice, my #1 fan. =) I just know you guys love me so much, and it just makes me so thankful. =) I love you guys too and I am glad that life is just awesome for us. I have learned a lot on the mission that our time here really isn’t anything. Just a little part in the whole scheme of things, but even in my little time I have had here on earth, I just think it is the sweetest thing. "It's a wonderful life" right?
I will talk to you are next year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hey Hey!! It just hit me the other day how excited I am to Skype you guys. But I am thinking today I will try to figure out some technology stuff so we will see how much I write.

But guess what... I AM STAYING!! Ha that’s right, I will stay another 7 weeks in Juazeiro. It is a little crazy but I was hoping for it. I want to spend Christmas here.... it is basically my other home. So yeah. Transfers weren’t anything crazy, nothing changed in our house which is chill, because I love everyone in our house, we all get along perfectly, and none of us are fubecas (slackers)!

So yeah, I think I won’t receive letters and packages until Thursday, so we will see if everything made it.  Wow... already doing Christmas stuff eh?? That’s cool. That’s funny that the kids are skipping out on family stuff. I remember when I wanted to do that and everyone was calling me lame. Ha, but now I see that the family stuff is the best stuff! I guess it just is a phase in life. Crazy how Taylor is having a baby... I can’t even imagine... but I guess I don’t need to, eh?

Please forward this for the ward newsletter:

Feliz Natal Cliffside 1st Ward! Tudo Bem?
Hope all is well and white there where my testimony was born and raised. Brazil has been very good to me and I am loving the missionary life. It’s amazing and easy to see here how the gospel really is the root of all happiness. It also is interesting to see that it is my job to make it easy for other people to see that as well. I love learning from the scriptures and modern-day counsel and applying it into my life and the life of others. This can be done everyday. I will miss drinking some good ol’ hot chocolate this Christmas but drinking a cold açaí smoothie will have to do. Hope you all have a holly jolly Christmas!
-Elder Cetraro

Monday, December 10, 2012

This week has been a pretty eventful week for me but... all good though! This week was interesting because it was the Christmas/talent show/zone conference. So that was fun stuff. It felt like I didn’t work in my area at all this week because I went on 2 divisions and took the day off for the Conference. The Zone Conference was soooo good. I KNOW that we have inspired leaders that receive revelation from God here in the mission. One of the things I think you would like to know that was inspired was the cleanliness part. The week before I begged Elder Reynolds to teach me his ways of cleanliness. I am naturally a slob. You know that, you lived with me. But I have been trying to organize myself and yeah. He taught us "The 5 S’s" - Sort (basically sort everything to see what is necessary and what it not... what is not, throw away - sooo hard for me) Straighten (a place for everything, and everything in its place) Shine (Be clean! If you dirtied it, clean it) Standardize (don’t remember this one) and then Sustain (daily keep it clean, this one is hard for me too)

Anyways, after this was the Talent show and OMG I need to find a way to get that to ya’ll. It was reeaally cool. So last P-day my comp said he wanted to play The Scientist (by Coldplay) for the talent show, and that morning we sang, "Be Still My Soul" in Portuguese. I realized that they were in the same key so I threw out the idea we should try to put them together. Then we realized we both wanted to play the piano. So we had the idea to switch off. So I won’t tell you the entire creative process but in the end it came out like this. My comp started on the piano and shortly after, I came in on the guitar and we are playing The Scientist. When we get to the chorus I put down the guitar and we play together and he slides off and grabs his harmonica. I figured out how to play chords so we made a transition into Be Still My Soul but Scientist style and in the transition he plays the harmonica. And then we sing Be Still My Soul in Portuguese..... And WOW, everyone marveled and wondered.... but most of all I did too! I never knew I had such musical talent to do something like that... YAY! =D

Then came the Christmas part. So President and his wife both shared stories, and they basically are my parents here. And it wasn’t until we all sang Silent Night that the Christmassy spirit hit me. I could just imagine a silent winter Christmas night and breathing some fresh cold crisp winter air. I could see that President and his wife really love us. After I just wanted a big mommy hug. It made me think of how every Christmas season, my mom always worked so hard to celebrate Christmas. You always tried to make it special together. I miss that. I miss you...and our full family. But it’s all good. I will really try this year to make Christmas more about Jesus than family, I guess. I am excited to study and find how I can fill myself with the spirit of Christmas and preach to others so they can have a special Christmas like what you did for me.

So there, that is all that is new with me! Wow. Fun stuff. So I read your Christmas letter. Wow, it has been an eventful year hasn’t it? It is weird to think I spent half of it with you guys. It seems like I have been here forever. Ha, and I think it is so funny that you mentioned the kids growing because I was looking at the pictures you sent me from a couple letters before. And I compared them with the old school pictures I had before and WOW! They really have changed. One thing is for sure though when I get back, Keegan and Riley will be my best friends! I just know. I think about it all the time how much I will love to hang out with them when I get back and how much COOLER they will be, ha. It is also sad though that we are a grown family now. No more KIDS.
-Elder Cetraro

Monday, December 3, 2012

HEEEYY!! Tudo Bem?
YAAAAYY for Christmas! Ha, Christmas music is something we can listen to, so one of the best parts of Christmas is here. Ha, some snakes gave us a cute golden Christmas tree and another snake gave us a present so we are getting festive down here!

So I saw on the first day of December that I left in month 6 and now it is month twelve. Crazy huh!? I pulled out my journal and it was great to see where I was a year ago and 6 months ago. 6 months ago was when I first went through the Logan Temple on Grandpa’s birthday. My soul thirsts for the Temple and it is funny how eternal families and temple work are a soft spot for me now.

WOW... I think it is sooo cool all the adventures you guys write me about. I am pretty sure I hear more about you guys than you hear from me. I like that - I am not missing out on anything. Wow! I am so jealous that you went to the Christmas Devotional. I WENT WHEN I WAS LIKE 8.... no fair. Ha, but it is funny because I tell all the members that I am from Utah and the Prophet is like my neighbor. It is funny how Utah is like a wonderland here and everyone dreams of going there.

Anyways... I think it is funny you are asking about my investigators. Padme and Tierre and Rosa are long gone. Something that I have been learning here with Elder Hodson is that in being an effective missionary you need to learn how to "cut" people. It is kind of sad but it is true. We are looking for the elects who are prepared. Like Donizete, for example. Ha, the man that I baptized yesterday! He just showed up at church a couple weeks ago. He felt the spirit, knew the Church was true. And it was super smooth getting him to the font. He in fact (when I baptized him) dunked himself more than me dunking him. But yeah. It is cool though because it turns out that I gave him a Book of Mormon 3 months ago and he prepared himself. That is something that I am really learning is how God really prepares people in this work.

Some news from here is... I dunno. Just working! I’m sure you were checking the weather and it actually was a very cool week. Yes, it still had its hot times but pretty chill. Last P-day was really sweet. We had pizza and stuff with some members that turn out are from the Amazon. Once we got them started on the Amazon they started telling stories for the next 2 hours. But I LOVED it. OMG, me and Riley are going to come down here and do an Amazon tour. It is just so cool because I have always read and dreamed about it as a kid. And here I was hearing first hand stories. It was awesome, ha!
So for this week, my spiritual focus will be on going the extra mile. This is the healing power of Christ (Stand a Little Taller thought this week) I will try to do that in praying with love. For really I am responsible for the people here and I can receive revelation about teaching them. We need to pray for people but also pray how we can help them.

Also something totally cool is that an Argentinean was talking to us the other day. And I wasn’t paying attention because he was talking more to the other missionaries but I understood when I was listening. But then after they were done talking, the missionary said that he was speaking Spanish the whole time. So yeah... I UNDERSTAND SPANISH! Crazy huh? Ha, that was a cool experience.

Also once again, Karate. I was talking to one of the zone leaders and he said he did a lot of karate. It was funny cause I busted out Kan Ku Dai like it was nothing. It is so weird how I remember everything. We will have to do some karate when I get home. 
Sound good? Maybe I can finally whoop you, Dad!
Love ya all
-Elder Cetraro