Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let’s see for this week…. First of all, you are going to have to hit up Uncle Andrew and let him know that I am finally fulfilling his little mission to collect recipes. This last P-day I made the famous Coxinha! Ha, probably just about every block in Brazil has a place that sells this savory little treat. It’s basically just shredded chicken inside of fried dough.... But I know how to make them now! And then this P-day we learned how to make Pastels, the Coxinha’s brother, which you can find just about anywhere. It is the Aunt of our recent convert that is teaching us all of this.

Speaking of recent converts, Luian received the Aaronic Priesthood and is actually do home teaching as we speak. Jurandi and his family unexpectedly moved away. So we gotta track them down somehow so we can continue the work.

Besides that, this week took us by surprise and we started to work entirely in the other Ward that we are taking care of. We got to teach an entire extended family of like 10 people that live up on this "Hill" that is in our area. It is actually just a giant trash pile covered in dirt. We hiked up there and it has a pretty stellar view. I think we are going to try to fly kites there next P-day.

Besides that I think Saturday was probably one of the hardest days of my mission. Everything fell and it was just very stressful getting kicked out of a house, working with a kid whose parents are always drunk, less-active members who are too ashamed to return.  Also I forgot to tell you that I finished reading O Livro de Mórmon on St. Patty´s day and I know that book is true.  Also we passed by that young man Lucas and we did a couple lessons with him this week. He said that it really helped a lot and he really felt the spirit. I just love that kid so much and I am so glad that I am helping him out. I hope I can get him out on a mission.

Anyways, It is going great. I’m learning, getting filled with the Spirit everyday, and hopefully here soon we will get baptizing again.
Love you Fam and have a holly jolly week!
-Elder Cetraro

Monday, March 18, 2013

This week was actually a reeeally good week for us. With the new transfer me and my Comp sat down and reviewed what we can do to improve. The last few weeks I felt like he avoided the improvement subject and I try my best to hold back and not yap at him. I decided to conduct myself well and prayed that the Lord would inspire him to plan a little better with me. Well I was amazed on how well it came out. I didn’t say anything, and he just came out saying all the things I would of said. I learned that it is better to have internal motivation to get people to change than external. So we really focused on having faith in hitting our goals instead of just having faith making them. Even if that means lowering them, it’s better to have goals that are meant to be met. So with our goals and stuff our numbers with lessons and new investigators actually exploded. Best week ever! I hope it continues on!

The spirit is guiding us to some good people. One of our new focuses is a good kid who is 18 years old, who we have worked with a bit. We have had 4 investigator neighbors of his. We realized this week though that the whole reason why we have been there is to help him. We sat down with him and had a real heart to heart with him to help him in this stage of life. I am so happy that he trusted us like that. I am hoping we can help him serve a mission. He isn’t planning on it right now, but he’d be a great one!
So that’s about it, I love you guys,
-Elder Cetraro

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Alrrriiiighty, so transfers were today. And almost nothing happened here! Everyone in my district stayed expect our Zone Leader, Elder Ribeiro left. Today we cleaned a lot, it’s funny how it is necessary to have these time periods like transfers to give us time to review and fix. The house is getting a little messy and I am hoping that we will be able to do some leaps in this transfer. This last week was really interesting because I did splits with Elders in our district 5 days in a row. 2 days with the Zone Leaders, and one of them was spent going to the Center to help with his ingrown toenail. It was really cool to walk around in Aldeota. I felt like I was back in the United States and away from all the ghetto-y-ness. I felt like I belonged there with my collared shirt and tie you know.

This weekend our zone had 16 baptisms so we had a lot to do this weekend. We had two. One was Luian. The nephew of a member that we have been teaching the entire transfer. He is kinda a worldly young adult that is really smart with the Word of Wisdom and Chastity and has really good gospel knowledge. He is living with his Uncles but is from another state. Here he keeps the commandments with no problem (he doesn’t do anything social) so he wasn’t sure if he would continue on or not. Some how, he finally made the decision. I blame the Book of Mormon and FHE.

The other baptism is Jurandi´s sister, Shayla. WOW, the weird thought that came to me yesterday is that this is like teaching Keegan because she is 14 years old. But oooooh mmyyyyy gooossshhh I don’t think I have ever seen something so simple and so profound and beautiful as watching Jurandi baptizing his sister. I really feel like your favorite little quote “A missionary is someone who leaves their family for 2 years so others can be with theirs eternally” is finally being fulfilled. The Mom really wants to get baptized but needs to get married and it has been hard to sit down with the Dad but I have the faith that it will all work out. So yeah. Pretty sweet. 

It is real hard to work with families here because no one is married here. You really have to be patient with marriages and they have to be elect because it doesn’t work to pass a lot of time with all the unmarried couples that it will take about a month to baptize. Jurandi´s family has been really good.

Things haven’t changed much with living in the "city”. It is like the West Jordan here of Salt Lake. So it isn’t much different than Juazeiro. The wind is awesome though.
Fortaleza is pretty sweet. My P-day has been pretty lame, I am not going to lie. There is nothing at all to do in our areas. Today I will play piano, next week maybe I will buy and fly a kite. Ha, that’s what all the little kids are doing here. But I am really happy and can’t really complain. Just got to keep pushing forward, and keep learning and growing.

We had a Seventy talk to our mission this last week and I’m hoping my faith will grow and miracles will happen. I am not going to lie; I feel like in our area the work has been slow. I feel like I need to somehow transfer my enthusiasm to my Comp because the mish is not a one-man-job. For me though, something needs to change because I refuse to work at the pace we are. So we will see what this transfer holds for me. 
I love ya!
-Elder Cetraro

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hullo Mumzy!
Eita tudo bem meu?! I’m doing great! Just struggling to type English! Today was a pretty fun P-day I’d say. Ha, very simple though, I watched Tangled today with the two other Elders in my district. It was the first time for the two Brazilian Elders and they loved it. I don’t think you’d ever see 4 young men hootin’ and hollin’, cheerin’ and laughin’ so much about a little Disney movie. Ha, it was fun. After Elder Barreto (who doesn’t speak any English at all) started to sing and rap American music, I would sing and dance along. Such simple stuff, but so fun.

I’m still not impressed with the medicalness here in Brazil. Unfortunately my companion’s kidney stones haven’t left yet and so a couple times this week we had to take it easy. Friday day we were on a split and he was at the other Elder’s place and he crashed in pain. He spent the whole day there while the other Elder’s scrambled to get some medicine for him. He is doing a little bit better now; I think it must come in waves. He just needs to pee the freakin’ thing out!

While I took care of him Friday, I also read the whole book of “Mormon”, as in the actual prophet. I found it very similar to Star Wars Episode 3 in how everyone knows that the Republic/Nephites are going to fall, and it gets very emotional to watch/read it all go down. But you then see it all set up for a Restoration with Luke/Joseph, and oh my I could go on with the Restoration and Star Wars analogy but I will save it for Riley’s next letter.

I’m glad Elder Hodson liked me. He was a Red personality and was the opposite of the Blue affectionness so I couldn’t tell 100%. But I am really glad because he told me he felt unworthy the first time he trained, but surely this time... WOW he trained me good. I am so grateful for his hard work and example. And that he always was trying and willing to help me in my weaknesses. He should be receiving a pile of photos I printed out this week. You can go ahead and tell Elder Hodson’s Mom Diane, that he really REALLY left a big impact on me and my work (which will continue on even after he leaves). Working with him was the highlight of my work there in Juazeiro. He really was an angel companion.

There was one miracle (there’s always many) in the work this week. So happily, Jurandy will not leave!! He has already made a personal study plan and progressed a lot even with us not passing by. We invited his family again this week to church and they turned it down. I don’t know what happened (yet) but they (Mom and Sister) miraculously showed up Sunday and LOVED it. Omgosh, maybe an entire family here, we’ll see! But I got to go. I love you all and I hope many great things unfold for you all as well!
Love yer Son
-Elder Cetraro!