MTC June 25

Greetings! So here is my e-mail from my second week at the MTC. I am finally starting to get used to the schedule here. Honestly the first couple of days were a little rough, mainly because of the schedule, but I am getting used to getting up early, going to bed on time and sitting pretty much all day! That sounds a little negative, but it actually isn't so bad. We have around 6-8 hours of classroom instruction each day, but some of that is spent in personal, companion, and language study where we can get up and go study outside. That is a welcome relief and I really love all the time I have to study and grow nearer to God. I appreciate all the letters and support I have been receiving. I know this work is true and I will try to be the best missionary I can. So this week has been pretty exciting at the MTC. As you may know, it is the Yearly Mission President conference. All the new coming Mission Presidents are here training with many general authorities. This week I have run into President and Sister King a couple of times. It is so wonderful to see familiar faces and they have been able to talk with Scott too! I also ran into Brother Tyler and he gave Elder Larsen and me some wonderful insight into our role as missionaries. President King told me he met my mission president Pres. Tavares. I haven't seen him, but it’s neat to know he's here! To answer some questions, sorry Mom, there are no sisters in my district. It’s actually 11 Elders waiting on our visas, (although one guy Elder Maner got his this week!) We all get along pretty well, but I am thankful you made me pack earplugs. I think two of my roommates have dreams about chipping concrete and or cutting down trees with chainsaws. I am actually the only Missionary going to Londrina I have met so far. The others in my district are headed to many other places in Brazil. My companion is going to Vitoria which includes Rio, so Chad might like that. The other day I saw Nila and Connie in the cafeteria! Nila said hello and I was very happy to see them! My Sunday schedule is actually very nice and relaxing compared with my other day schedules. We have Sacrament meeting at 8 AM, followed by a District meeting, followed by Priesthood meeting, followed by lunch, followed by another district meeting, followed by a Temple Walk, followed by study time, then dinner, then a Devotional, then a showing of a church movie, then companion study and go to bed. It’s a great relief to have such a relaxed schedule after a week of working so hard ;) Oh! One exciting thing is that because of the Presidents conference, we will be having a special Devotional tonight and also on Sunday. We are all very excited because that probably means talks by Apostles/1st presidency! Can't say for sure, but it seems likely...... It sounds like things are going pretty well at home. I am glad you are feeling pretty well Mom. I pray for you and Sharon every night and I know the Lord will bless you. I really appreciate all your letters and packages. It’s great to feel your love and support. (And fun to make the other Elders jealous!) I am learning Portuguese fairly well. We had our first teaching scenario this week and I was able to contact someone, introduce myself, get to know them, and bear a short testimony in Portuguese. I can also say prayers too. It is amazing what we are able to learn in such a short period of time here! Brother Tyler talked to me about receiving the gift of tongues and I know that the Lord truly does bless us as we try our best to forget ourselves and serve Him. I have an increasingly strong testimony of Jesus Christ and His atonement. I know that God answers Prayer and I have had many wonderful experiences to confirm this. I love the MTC and this work and I am so glad I am here on my mission. This is the biggest blessing in my whole life. I know God loves each of you, and so do I. I pray the Lord’s blessing to be with you as you try each day to learn and grow closer to Him. Ate` logo! Love Elder Markham

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