September 30, 2013
Ha! What a killer letter you sent. Aaah, Gratitude has always been a tender subject for me. So there is nothing like receiving a Gratitude letter! You know, it’s amazing to recognize the tender mercies in our lives and we get that great feeling of gratitude in the heart that comes from the spirit. And then you share that with me, and just you sharing your personal gratitude hits me hard. Muito Obrigado for sharing Mom! You know, as missionaries we always know that God will bless our families while we are out. But being isolated from the family as a missionary, sometimes it is hard to really see Him pouring out the blessings. I can’t wait to go on some morning walks with you, It’s definitely going to happen since I already have the habit of waking up early, and then putting on the 3 hours of time change. Well I am so glad, you made my day, and that is saying something.
Well I guess I will share what happened today with transfers. I WAS TRANSFERRED! The crazy thing as well, so was my compnion, Elder Monical. There were some surprises in the transfers for sure. First of all, today is Elder Galves’ birthday, and what a better gift then being called to be Assistant of the President for your last transfer! Ha, wowzers! Good for him. It will help him finish off his mission working hard and not getting trunky! My very first companion is an Assistant! I guess that is cool! As for my companion, Elder Monical, here is a good surprise, he got put on Staff! He will be our Referral Secretary. So he will be doing a bit of what Gma & Gpa Smith do on their mission and he gets to spend some good time in downtown Aldeota. I think it will be very good for him. It was cool because I got to eat lunch with him today there, and I also have a lot of contact with him. Sister Bailey got put as the First Sister Trainer Leader thingy. Ha, funny thing is now she is the most experienced Sister in the Mission, and I think she will be returning home with me!
Oh yeah, and as for me! You might want to know that,right? Well I got transferred to a place called Conjunt de Ceará. It is very condensed here. I will be with Élder Soares. Also, I am a Zone Leader now! Ha, I must be getting old! Bishop called that one. I am the first of my group. But wow, Zone Leader. Zone Leaders have always been my heroes in my mission. I have had a few that have made a big difference to me and now I am so happy to have this same privilege to serve and help raise these Elders up as great servants of the Lord. So Yeah! Crazy Stuff! I am excited, It will be interesting though, I will be sure to fill you in on the adventures we will have in our Zone.
Pheeeww... And I have still have a ton to tell you about Expedicionários and the last week I had in it. I had to work very hard this last transfer to keep our quality of work up. Tuesday we had weekly planning and for one of the first times in my mission I was kinda dreading to do it. (Usually weekly planning and Tuesdays are my "WOOT WOOT! Let’s get pumped for the next week" time) I wanted to finish off strong. Ha, in fact this last transfer was probably the most stress I have ever had in my life.... and if you know me, I am not a very stressed out person. I may be high-wired and hyper-active, but stressed... nooo.. Anyways, that left me pondering a bit about stress. That day I learned a lot. I liked a scripture that I found in Alma 7:24 which states "And see that ye have afaith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works." Usually we get stressed when we have so much to do. We get stressed when we don’t have faith, hope or charity. Also I thought a lot about how we must have a perfect balance of Patience and Diligence in our working lives.
Anyways, after Tuesday, things started to look up. We started to find new people to teach, and then I also had a gratitude moment. I really realized how much the Lord has made me into a very capable Elder. Wow, it’s really incredible I would make the little Greenie Elder Cetraro so proud. When I have a great attitude of abundance, full of faith, hope, and charity, I really can move things along. It made me happy. The Lord prepares the way when you have the faith.
Also everybody kinda already knew that I would be leaving. So this last week was definitely used to say my good-byes. Evellyn got confirmed, and we did good work this last week intergrading her, and her Mom with some members. So I hope the work will continue on there, especially after all the work we invested there this whole transfer. Ivanilda and Patric are doing well. Patric passed the sacrament to me Sunday. Wow, first time someone I baptized used their priesthood to give me the sacrament. He also is starting to bring his kids again to church. The Ward will do a service project there in Eliza’s house, that will be a great miracle! As for Tiara, Wow, she never ceases to amaze me. She gave me a little pocket Bible that I can use in proselyting, and then she gave a talk this last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. She is a star. Of course, as well, my best friend Bishop Feitosa gave me plenty of thanks in every meeting we had there. He testified that I really left a mark there in the Ward, and that I will never be forgotten. I love Bishop, So yeah, that is how it went down.
As for my time I spent there in Expedicionários, wow, it really was a place of growth for me. It was there that I really learned and grew in leadership and I believe the turning point of my mission where I began to really be an instrument in the Lord´s hands, blessing many. I know that the Lord is always there to invest in us, and what He asks in return is to do service, joyfully with great happiness in our hearts. I know that the Learning Journey Never Ends. I am very happy. There isn’t a bigger blessing than being able to participate in the Lord’s work, and I sure do know that I have a loving family that is backing it all up. I love you all and I hope God’s mercies continue to pour upon us both as we press forward in our new chapters of our lives. Até Próxima Semana!
-Elder Zachary Cetraro