MTC August 13, 2010

Hello Momma!
I was so very happy to get your e-mail! I was sort of sad at first that I didn't get a letter because I love to hear from you, but when I saw your e-mail on the computer I was so happy! This week seems to have been very exciting for you! The wedding pictures are great! Everyone looks so happy and you are looking really good too! I know the Lord is blessing us so much every day; we just need to have the eyes to see His hand. California? Wow! You are getting ambitious! That sounds like it will be really fun for you! What part of California are you going to? My favorite thing was always to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. That place was so awesome! Are you flying or driving? Will you stay with Mark & Cindy? Also remember to take it easy! I know you'll be fine but Dad gave me his worry genes. (My blue jeans are in the wash.) How is Sharon doing? With school coming up is she excited? I'm glad she had a great time with Kevin this week in Salt Lake. The temple is real a wonderful place and I am so glad that is open again and I get to go every P-day! Your Portuguese is very good for the time! I can understand everything you write to me and it’s actually kind of fun! I'd write to you in Portuguese in the e-mail, but it takes me a little while and I don't really have that much time to type. I feel that God is really helping me to learn quickly here. I can actually teach all the lessons completely in Portuguese and more or less say anything I want to! I'm not bragging, I'm just saying how awesome the Holy Ghost is. It’s really amazing how we can always find words during lessons to get our point across and then wonder how that happened afterwards! One really fun thing is practicing contacts with our teacher. One time we "knocked his door" and he was being a really hard investigator. For some reason I just burst out in Portuguese, "I know that we are just a couple of weird white boys who don't speak Portuguese very well standing on your porch, but we have a message that is really important for you!" When I said that he started laughing so hard he could even finish the contact. Missionaries: 1. Teacher: 0. Unfortunately I don't think I'll have time to write a paper letter today, so I'll try to get everything into this e-mail. Our demonstration for the new missionaries was.... interesting. We only got this piece of paper that said "You investigator is from Mexico. He was invited to hear the lessons by his girlfriend (and didn't give a name) so we knocked on the door with 50 new missionaries watching (no pressure) and when he answered he said "Who are you?" We said, of course, the missionaries! We're glad to be here because your girlfriend referred us here! Then he said "My girlfriend? I don't remember that. Which one was it?" Remember that we didn’t have a name and we just stood there awkwardly until he let us in. Hurray for humility! At least this next thing didn't happen. The Sisters who tried the same guy the next turn tried to just make up a name for his girlfriend (in the role play) and he shot them down with "I don't know anyone who is named that. I think you're lying to me. You know that liars go to Hell right?" We couldn't stop laughing for like 10 minutes! One really fun thing we have been doing is that our teachers have started doing Progressing investigators with us. They are an "investigator" all the time and we have to make appointments and teach them lessons and help them with life and its really really fun! We can really feel the Spirit working through us and I am learning so much about the work. What is comes down to is that Jesus Christ is really the center of everything we say or do. He gave us life, everything we have, and the ability to live forever in bliss. My testimony of the Savior has grown so strong and I am honored to be in the Lord's Army to proclaim his name! Thank you for your continued faith and prayers. I testify that God hears and answers and that he loves us so much. I am still getting along great with Elder Larsen. We sort of wish we could keep on being companions, but it will be exciting whatever comes! I still have no word on visas or reassignment. That ok though. I am learning a lot about patience and one thing I have really learned here is this. Happiness is absolutely a choice, so make the right one! Keep on smiling even when you look like a dork! Our branch still has over 100 people in it just because even though lots of people got visas two weeks ago, lots more keep coming in without. Our district is down to 5 but we are having a great time. It would be great if you could pray for Elder Wesby. He's in our district and he is having lots of health problems right now. Well, I don't know what else exactly to say. I love you all so much and I love the Lord and my mission. Please write with any questions comments or concerns. I love hearing from you! One thing you could really help me with is if you could send me a package of G-2 Pilot gel pens. I have run out of pens and they are expensive here. You know the black really nice gel ones? I think you can get them at Shopko or wherever. Thank you so much! I love you muito muito muito! Keep on fighting the good fight and remember the Lord is on our side!
Elder Markham

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