MTC July 23, 2010

Ola`! For a minute I thought I wouldn't get to send this e-mail this week because all of the computers here at the MTC are either broken or demonido (possesed or in-demonated). It was totally freaking out. Also they never work in class. It’s pretty funny to listen to Irmão Cope yelling at the computer to work in Portuguese! We have some pretty fun times in class. One thing I've learned this week is that English phraseology/humor does NOT translate! For example: Rock on = sobre rocha which a Brazilian would literally translate to mean we are currently on a stone of indefinite size. We totally say it anyways though. We also like to run around yelling Dom Das Linguas! (Gift of Tongues) and everyone thinks we're crazy. It's terrific. So in Brazil, I'll just say something completely bizarre and then they be like "Whose that crazy tall white guy?" and then I'll tell them and teach them and they will be baptized. It’s Brilliant! Well, like I'm sure I've mentioned before, the MTC has some kind of weird time warp a'happenin. This week has been terrific and I have learned so much, but it went by in such a blur. We had this really super fireside by the Mission Secretary where he talked about the importance of making and keeping commitments. The same principle I learned applies to me! It does nothing to just want or say I will improve, but it is in the doing that the blessings come! This week I have tried to set specific goals to work harder and I can already see the blessings! I know that God blesses us when we keep his commandments. We had another devotional this week where Bro. Workman talked about how knowledge and obedience are directly connected to spiritual power and strength. I want to learn everything I can to teach better. This may seem like I'm undershooting a little, but my only goal is to memorize three scriptures before I get off my mission. The Bible, The Book of Mormon, and The Doctrine and Covenants! Sorry I'm being kindof a smart alec this week. I guess there are some things that the MTC will never change... Well, this week our Portuguese has really improved. Our companionship can now teach an entire 45 min lesson in Portuguese and this coming week our whole district will speak nothing but Portuguese for 7 whole days. It will be great! Also I bet our teachers will appreciate the quiet.... Any who, I know God helps me when I put in an honest effort and I will learn all the Portuguese that I am supposed to. This week we got a new district leader and I became "senior companion". This doesn't really mean anything, but now I get to pick who in our companionship says the prayer... HA! Now I control their blessings!!! Also, it appears I probably won't be in a threesome for much longer. Another Elder in our district got his visa and will be leaving on Tuesday so now we'll have an even number (8) and we probably won't stay in our threesome. It's too bad. At first it was a little difficult, but now I love it. It’s weird whenever anyone leaves here, especially those we are close to in our district. When they leave its sort of like: "Bye. .... I think I love you." There are rumors in the air that a lot of visas are about to come through, so hopefully I'll get to Brazil soon. Thank you so much for all the letters and support! I appreciate all of your love. Special thanks to Momma and MaryAnn from my district for all the doughnuts/food! I love being a missionary and I am so excited to press forward in the service of the Lord. Thank you for prayers and know that I am praying for you too! Nils, the Provo MTC isn't so bad. We'll party it up hacky sack style!
Love Elder Markham

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