Elder Cetraro's last email home on his Mission:
oh Minha Nossa!! Chegou!
I thought this day would never come.... ha actually, I knew this day would come, and because of that I always have lost myself in my full time service while I can. I remember reading the story you just sent me of the return missionary my last week of training with my Zone Leader Elder Heath in Juazeiro. I remember I cried that day, I didn’t want that day to come, I dreaded the thought of it... in a good way.
I love serving the Lord, and as many youth are saying now-a-days... you only live once, YOLO, I knew that as well, you only serve once. But hey, that is life. God gives us many opportunities in our lives to live. I can honestly say that I LIVED my mission. I gave myself to the Lord. Because I have lost myself, I have also received the promised blessing that I shall find myself as well. Not only have I met, and come to know many great missionaries, members, leaders, the beautiful Brazilian people, but I have really come to know myself, and who I am. It’s incredible, and I know that this will help myself now come back and start my adult life.
I also, have come to know Someone even more important during my time here as a missionary. As Dad said in his email, I can truly look back at my mission and see the Lord’s hand in every week, everyday, and in every hour. Many people have accompanied me in these last two years. My family, my leaders, my friends that I have made here, and even the 24/7 companions. But only One has walked with me the whole way. I know, for I truly carried His name over my heart. There honestly isn’t anything in this world that I could pay to experience the constant closeness I had with my Savior. The Gospel, God’s plan and His commandments, and especially the Restoration of everything has really become a reality to me, and I am super grateful for this testimony that nobody can take away from me. Nobody could of given it to me either except a perfect Savior that knows me perfectly. And He did.
Words honestly can’t describe the feelings that I have for my mission. It really is sacred to me. Like my favorite picture which my Mom inspiredly put in my bedroom... of Moroni burying the plates, I finish my emails to my family and bear my testimony of the Lord’s Work today. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that knows us and loves us beyond measure. He made a plan for us. He sent us here to Earth, to live and love. One of His greatest gifts He could give us was the opportunity to serve for Him in these last days. He knew that we were valiant, so He chose us to come and He prepared a way for us to steady our feet, grasp hands, encourage minds, inspire hearts, and save souls. It is what our perfect Father enjoys most, and so He made it possible to feel this great joy. To do that He called His Son, Jesus Christ and through Him all things were made possible. He lived for us, and He died for us, and in these last days, He calls us. I know He came down with His Father that wonderous spring morning in 1820. I know He restored His True Church through His servant Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet.... you don’t know how long I have waited to be able to say that for myself. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and that this Divine Word has changed my life in countless ways. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. Also, God the Eternal Father and His Son restored the Holy Priesthood here on Earth once again. I know that I hold this Priesthood, and finally I know what an honor this is. I know God called me to serve here in Fortaleza Brazil, He called my President, Francisco de Assis Souza, and He created a perfect Mission for me. I know that families can be eternal, and that endless joy and happiness awaits us and our families as we live and love this Gospel He has given us. I know the Church is True, I love my Mom and Dad, and I close this last email, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Cya in a week! =)