Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Opa mamãe!
Como vai??  So this last week President came and visited us during our District Meeting. At the end of the District Meeting he gave us a couple heads up. One, by the end of the year our Mission will have 200 missionaries AGAIN! We were at 200 when the mission divided in July, in 6 months we will be full of a bunch of newbies! Ha, so I am thinking that I will be having a couple of "Grandsons" here soon because they are training way early, so who knows what is going to happen to us old Farts like me.

The other notice he gave us was..... NO MORE BACKPACKS?!?! Whhhaaattt?? I thought young white shirt ‘n tie boys with big backpacks on top was part of the missionary legacy... guess they are trying to wean that down a bit, so I will have to leave the good ol’ camel back at home here soon.

Well as for my week. So you asked about Gerson. So this week we had a lot of people preparing for baptism. As for us we had 3. Gerson, his Mom Ana, and a little nephew boy of a bishop, Jordan. So we spent a lot of time preparing these people. Ana got prepared well, and Gerson this last friday, we had a lot of time to clear up doubt with him but still was a little hesitant with the baptism. Saturday morning I read Elder Holland’s talk from last General Conference and OMG it was perfect for Gerson, I got all excited to share it with him, but they gave me a call and said they would be traveling this weekend, hmmph.... QUE ISSO?!?! Patience, right? Well yeah, also Jordan will wait for this next Saturday to be baptized so his Mom can be there. So it was a little tough focusing on these people all this week, and then none of them being baptized... but it will all work out.

This week there was a woman that we taught, she was really cool, but she was really interested about if we have days off, if we can have friends, how the heck do we just work straight like we do for 2 years.
Ha, I learned two things here. One, how grateful I am for the rules. Really, if it wasn’t for the rules, it would be ten times harder to be dedicated to the work. It would be real easy to get distracted and hang out, especially with taking out some of the little rules. Second, of how happy and joyful it is to serve others. I really thought about, hmmm how is it that we are so dedicated and so happy at the same time. It is true, we don’t socialize a lot here. Just teach the gospel. But later on in the week while we were teaching Tiara about service, it dawned on me that there is a great joy that comes through service. Maybe it may not be the usual chit chat that we love, but with the little interaction we have, while doing good works, and having the spirit testifying in our hearts of what we are doing is the right thing. Well, it is a lot easier to understand how we do it.

Anyways, besides that the week was chill. It sure had it’s ups and downs, but God never leaves me comfortless when I search for His comfort. I am getting a little bit more tidy by the way. I am getting some good habits. It is amazing what a little bit of study and prayer can do to changing simple things like cleaning.

But yeah... that’s about all I got for you for now. I am happy, and who knows what will happen next week when it is transfers! Eiita! Bishop thinks I will leave, and Elder Monical is begging for me to stay. I don’t know what I want, but I am thinking maybe it is my time. Who knows!
But I love you,  Tchau!!
-Elder Zachary Cetraro 

September 16, 2013

Heyya there!

 As for my week. Well, let’s say Me and Elder Monical get a long really well. We are good buds. This week in Zone Training, I had a funny experience... So we were practicing teaching the Law of Chastity, and I asked Elder Galves to show us how to mock a proposal in a lesson. So I volunteered to be an investigator and then they called Sister Miess to be my "Girl Friend" Ha, so you can already see where this is going right... well during the practice, they asked Sister Miess why she would like to be married, and she said she would like to have kids. Eita... Then they asked me if I would keep this commandment or not.  I said yes, so they told me I needed to propose to her. WOOWW.... Awwwkwwward.... So I did my first proposal in Portuguese that day. It was terrible. Ha, but the Zone got a good kick out of it.

Then for another awkward moment with girls. Friday I went to the Sister’s area to help pass by a list of referrals for them. While we were doing it, I came into a little Vila and we needed to go to casa seis, and I thought casa tres, so I knocked there, then realized that it was the wrong house but then a young girl about my age peeked around the corner and was like "Omg, I can’t come to the door right now but I reeeeallly want to talk to you guys, can you pass by tomorrow?!?!" I made a note for the Sisters and when they passed by they said she was really interested but also said,  "Aww I feel so bad I couldn’t of talked with the Elders, they were sooo gorgeous!!" Haaa, so it was an inspired contact for sure! So God uses our gifts in funny ways, right? Luckily I won’t be teaching her!

Elder Monical gave a talk this last Sunday, and he spent 2 weeks preparing it but I think it went good. Ha, and when I arrived, I was told that I’d be giving a talk as well, so I had 20 minutes to prepare, but I just winged it. I ended up just going up and cried and bore my testimony of how I know that God enables us to speak for him, as he has done to Elder Monical, as he has done for me, as he has done for Moses, and He will do it as well for us as we are sharing the gospel. 

We had some drama with our baptisms though this last week. Gerson, a young man that we have been teaching for weeks, we got him and his little 11 year old sister prepared for baptism and his Mom was going to go and watch and everything. But on the day of the interview, his little brother who helps a lot in another church took him to the house of a Pastor, and they confused him a ton. He went and passed the interview but he wouldn’t go to church, because he was scared to be baptized. It is just really sad because he knows the Book of Mormon is true, and he believes that the church is true, but he is just scared of all the stuff he has heard from the people he has known and trusted for so long. We still baptized Evellyn, his sister, but honestly the baptism felt a little empty. Oh well. Pray for Gerson and his Mom Ana this week okay??
Alrighty that’ll have to be my report for now.
Love you all and have a wonderful week!
-Elder Zac Cetraro

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wow!! I got a letter from the whole fam today! Sweeeet! Writing back is a little more difficult but that’s alright. I can type fast!! Much faster than write.

So I guess I’ll fill you in on my week. I actually am feeling a lot better. I hope whatever it was is gone completely. I really am lucky though that my sickness didn’t get me down. Umm... This week the work was actually a lot better. We got back into the groove talking with a lot of people, and teaching a lot. I am helping Elder Monical teach more, but I still feel like I have to prompt him to do it still. But he is getting better for sure.

The District of Sisters that I am helping is having a lot of success. It is good to see how the Lord is blessing them, and it is good to see how each Sister is growing, especially since I have known half of them for over 3 months now. Sister Bailey really liked the Sympathy card you sent by the way.

Probably the funniest story of the week would have to be when I found an old drunk man scooting around in the road. I decided to help him a bit because being in the middle of the road is a bit dangerous you know. So we held his hands and helped him walk to a corner for him to lie down. When we got there he started mumbling something that I didn’t understand. He let go of my hand and looked down to see that his shorts were leaking... Eita! I then understood him, he was saying "I want to pee" so he hurried and did his business in the middle of the road but the funny part was to see my companion there, still holding his hand, having no clue what was going on while this old man is taking a leak in the middle of the road. He couldn’t let go because then he would fall, so yeah. He was a trooper. It was hilarious though.

Besides that, Bishop’s Wife is about to pop, she will have her baby this next Friday. Bishop is happy. I’m happy. It’s going good. I have two big goals right now. One is to be more organized in everything, with planning and cleaning and yeah. The other is to work more with the members. Because I know there are plenty of willing members.... you just have to plan everything and call them first. So we will see. But I am good and it is good to hear from everyone in the family.
Love you guys and have a great week!
-Elder Zac Cetraro

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hey there!
Helloo!! So I decided that maybe I am starting to get a little homesick..... in my dreams! Ha as you know, I dream every night here in Brazil and I can’t recall them all right now but I know just about every night it has had a lot to do with home and you guys. It is kinda weird though. My old life really does seem like a dream. Really far off and almost not real. Huh... anyways...

Okay, you had some questions! Yaay! So I will try to answer those while telling you about my week. So last P-day I forgot to tell you, but the day was basically a day of spring cleaning. WOW! And most of it was in my luggage. I really think it was the first time I actually did a good clean out and organization of my luggage. I put all my clothing in the big bag, which if I fold the clothes it doesn’t get too out of control. But the real mess was in the medium bag, which has been my "Little Pharmacy" bag and Book/Media library. Wow, I sorted through that and discovered some nifty things my Mom packed for me! I think maybe I will start to use some of it. Ha and yeah my little bag has all the little things I use often like socks, garments, and yeah..

Anyways... as for the week. So it was a bit tough this week I will be honest.  Like I have said, we haven’t gotten into the groove yet this week. And well my companion doesn’t speak much Portuguese and neither is he super eager to speak in general so this week I kinda felt alone. But this last weekend I started to throw him in to do contacts, to get him speaking. You really have to trust in the other person, even though you know that you could do it better, you have to do it for his growth. So yeah... Luckily we had Gabriel, a boy in the Ward who is awaiting his mission call, who wants to do 3 splits with us a week. So he did 2 with us this last week.... and he teaches really well. Sadly though, I feel like my comp has been a little excluded and I don’t know what to do to help him. I can teach the language really well to him, but it is him that determines how much he speaks. So I will have to help him practice since he doesn’t have that desire to converse or jump in and teach. But he is a great guy. It really isn’t that bad because if you know me, I like to do everything myself anyways so maybe that is the big problem.

You asked if I am needing or missing anything. I will think about that this week. Bishop asked for candy and I was like psshh, candy?? Who needs that junk? But one of our roommates just got a package of American candy and OOOMMMGGG.... it is sooo good... Freak, it is heavenly. Even the Red Vines, which I thought was a lousy candy that only Dad likes to eat, tasted good! Ha, so feel free to send a bit of candy in packages if you want. But yeah.

Well, the weather I am totally used to. I ate Brazilian pancakes yesterday and they are delicious, you will have to try it out some time. And yeah, well I got to go. But have a good week!

-Elder Cetraro