Monday, July 8, 2013

Heyya There Folks!
How is good ol´ ´Merica?  So it looks like you guys were partyin it up there during this great time of the year in that great country. Wow. Nonstop play time.... and meeting up with lots of friends... My favorite thing to do. Ha, as for my 4th of July, I woke up singing all the national songs that I could think of but it was kind of a one-man party. Oh well. Sadly though, our lunch was in a house of a man who is anti-American and he said a lot of things that pooped on my party and sadly I can’t discuss politics it’s against the rules so I just sat and listened to him bashing on my country. BUT... it's all good. Probably will be my last 4th of July outside of the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Anyways, I guess I can tell you a bit about my week, right? So this week was very good I'd say. One of the simple miracles, that only a missionary would understand was when we did weekly planning, I told Elder Medrado, let’s make a goal to teach at least 4 lessons everyday. The surprising thing is, exactly that happened. Every day we were hitting the goal, even one day which seemed a little slow for us we ended up hitting it. So what can you take out of this? The power of making a righteous sincere goal. Because I know as soon as we declare, and write it down, God will be there to help us out in the strong and the weak. 

But that was only one small cool part of the week. Besides that we continued teaching the family of Eliza this week. It was a little scary because we invited this neighbor boy to participate and he ends up being a little Baptist full of doubts and calling us devil-worshippers behind our back. So we had a couple days of answering dumb questions and testifying of the truth. I was a little bit worried that he poisoned that family but surprisingly... No. Everyone that was believing us before were still nice and strong in their testimonies. Even the girl in the family, who is struggling to accept, because she is very active in the Catholic Church, testified to me of how she believes that the Book of Mormon is true. I felt like it would be the BoM that would help her, and it was a miracle to see how she opened up after reading it.

It was a little miracle for me to hear from and SEE my heroes. Elder Reynolds and Elder Hodson. Elder Reynolds showed up to do the baptism interview; I got to do his last little division with him. And I got to talk to Elder Hodson, give him a nice big hug, and he gave me a gift "sac" (he didn’t have a basket) before he left today. This was a little tender mercy for me to see them one last time.

But the best part of everything was Sunday at church. WOW. I seriously have never felt God’s love immensely poured upon me than in that Testimony meeting. I honestly felt like if I closed my eyes I would be in God’s presence. There were many great testimonies born, many about the missionary work, and even one of our investigators came up and bore her testimony about us. Then I looked back, and out of nowhere I saw Lucas, my very dear friend from my last area in Jardim Castelão appear. He came up and bore his testimony too, it was glorious. The Stake President couldn’t help but see the joy that was overcoming me and went up and bore testimony about the joy of service that he knew that I was experiencing. He said, "I know that you all cannot see it, but Elder Cetraro is in the front crying. I know that it isn’t because of the long hot days he spends in the sun or because of the many people not following, but simply because God is testifying to him that he is blessing others." It was perfect. The rest of the day was very inspired in there. And I couldn’t help but know that God did all that to me out of gratitude of everything I have done for others here. It was so great to help with the miracle of Eliza AND to have my dear friend show up just for me. It will be a day and a feeling that I never will forget.

Oh, with Transfers, I will be staying here, but now I will be taking care of 2 duos of Sisters. WOW, I hope I can do the job WELL. I really want to learn how to be a leader now and I know God is giving me the opportunity. Oh also... Guess who replaced the Elder Ribeiro who returned back home? Elder Barbosa! Ha, so I will be living with him this transfer. Cool huh?
Well that is a monster email. I know that you all are having a wonderful time and I would love to be there. But I also am having a joyous time here, and God loves having me be here.
Have an amazing week, and see ya later!
-Elder Zachary Cetraro

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