Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Alô minha mother!

So this week was pretty special. It’s great to see how God is trusting us with some of the greatest challenges that the mission has to offer. Families and addictions. Right now we are teaching 6 families. Working with families is actually reeeally interesting. Because as you know, everybody is different. And as if getting one person to the baptismal font isn’t hard enough, getting a whole family there is a challenge. It’s tough because everyone has their own difficulties and it is hard to focus on just one person, and then the others get behind.

This week we dedicated a lot of time to a couple of these families. First of all was the couple Fabrisso & Antônia. It has been quite some time that we have been working with this couple. They have from the start wanted to follow but have had difficulties going to church every week and for Antônia, stop smoking. So this last week we really cracked down on her to help her stop once and for all. It was incredible what a challenge and a testimony can do. She was very doubtful with stopping this week but we challenged and testified to her. The spirit testified to me I think even more than her, for when she got doubtful, I did as well. But she pulled through. It was funny because a trip showed up this last weekend for her, and she had to go; but she REALLY wanted to be baptized, and the only time that we had was 6:30 in the morning! Ha, so that’s right, Saturday we woke up extra early and had a baptism real early there with some friends. Her son Pablo, we will try to baptize next month. It was great though and it was great to see them both make this big step as a couple.  There is another family that will be married this weekend, and if they can stop smoking will be baptized as well.

This last week I did an exchange with one of our best District Leaders Elder Balduíno. He is a real hustler and hard worker. When he came to my area the day was a little 'meh', a little different but not as great as I would like it to be. He was a little bit quiet during the lessons as well. When we ended the day he heartfeltedly thanked me. He said that lately he has been thinking about maybe going home. But he said that during the day in every lesson he learned and felt my love that I have about being a missionary. He thought that I knew he needed that and I said all that stuff on purpose.... but I had no clue. As I looked back I was blown away to see all the little lessons that I said during the day that would help him endure to the end of the mission. One of the things that I said in the house of a member, was that if we can help someone come unto Christ this Christmas, that would be an amazing present that we can give to Christ. That really touched him and the next day he studied a bit about that. I then remembered the story of "The Little Drummer Boy". I told him it’s not always about giving something physical, like a baptism. But like the little drummer boy he just played his best for him. If we are using our talents in the Lord’s service, that is what will make Jesus smile. I don’t know if it was the spirit or the trunkiness that almost brought me to tears when I shared that, but it was strong. Elder Balduíno said that after today he decided to finish the mission strong. It is incredible how the spirit used me to make that all happen, for I didn’t even know.

Besides that, It was Stake Conference this last weekend. It was cool because 5 missionaries gave talks, including me. Tiara showed up again. I feel bad for her because after me and Elder Monical left together, she felt a little bit abandoned and the missionaries don’t ever visit her, but she is still firme forte. It was a good week. The Zone needs to baptize more though. but it’ll all work out.
Alrighty. That should be a mighty email for you all. I love you all, and don’t forget!
"Christmas is coming.... the goose is getting fat! ..."

-Elder Zac Cetraro

Monday, November 11, 2013

Heellllloooooo Family!!
I am super happy and excited today! Ha, transfers always are exciting!  The best thing is this week our Zone baptized 10 people! So we finished off strong. I also gave a talk this last Sunday that was very good. I decided to follow the Prophet’s lead and talk about the impact doing visits have in the lives of people. Of how we can help in the missionary work if we really are reaching out and being a friend to those around us. I compared it to when Jesus visited here in the Americas and the great impact that it made and really outlined how we can do visits like Christ. The best part about it all was when I was preparing my talk, I could just feel the spirit teaching me all that. It was awesome.

Also we had the baptism of Aline this last week. She was super ready to receive the gospel. She is super excited because she is a fiancé with a less active member. She basically reactivated him and now they are super happy and preparing to go to the temple next year. She came prepared. We taught her like 2 real lessons.

Okay now for transfers. WOW!! So yeah basically, Elder Helvey, my dear housemate, is now Secretary, so I will see him in the Office every week. I got a new companion, Elder Villalba. He was my Zone Leader with Elder Galves there in Expedicionários when I was with Elder Monical. He is from Paraguay and just a giant happy friendly kid basically. He is super funny, and he is just what I need right now. Also my Zone EXPLODED!! It had 10 missionaries last transfer and now it has 18! That is a big jump! WOOOOWWW!!! So I can see that the Lord is really trusting in us now with this great growth that is being given to us!

Elder Cetraro

Monday, November 4, 2013

Heeey Ther Fama,

I’ll fill y'all in a bit about my week. This week, I actually got a little reflective on everything. I looked back and thought about the spirit that I have carried my whole mission. It has really been one of  “dedication”. So I know that my dedication has been a way to show my love here on the mission. But definitely I will look for other ways to show my love for others. Elder Soares said that I am all "Accelerated" and I felt a little bad. But then I thought it was funny, what was the theme for the Zone Training this next Month? "Accelerate the Work" Ha! 

So it was very cool this Halloween this year. Because I was there in the leadership counsel where they had a lot of changes. A lot was about how we need to focus on our investigators in our studies. I liked it a lot. I learned we can show our love to the investigators through our concern and studies that we do for them, also that we need to be converted to the lessons that we are teaching. The standards of how many lessons were changed, and the work is being accelerated. Good thing I am an accelerated person, right?

Fernanda got baptized and Sunday was actually pretty special. Fernanda is the  cousin of a return missionary in our ward, Eduardo.  It was Eduardo who took her to church and stuff. Well this last weekend, the missionary who baptized him and his wife and parents came. It was very special to see the chain of testimonies that there was. Through the parent’s testimony, the missionary gained his testimony, through the missionary’s testimony, Eduardo gained his testimony, and through Eduardo’s testimony Fernanda gained a testimony and was being baptized.

Well yeah, this is the last week of the transfer and we shall see how all these changes in the mission will go. I am excited! Thanks for everything you guys and have a great week. Love you all!
-Elder Zachary Cetraro