Ola from the MTC (June 19)

Oi! Since we just got here our District is allowed to e-mail today as a quasi P-day! Thank you so much for the packages you already sent! Because of logistics we just barely got our mail. Thank you for all the stuff, and Yes Joy and Jess, I got you Guaranna!
My companion is Elder Larsen. He is from West Jordan and we get along really well. He is a X-country runner and he's been helping run better. Ha! We both love the work and work well together. Our days here at the MTC have been crazy! We have lots of time to fill, but we always seem to be running around crazy! It’s like some kind of crazy time warp. My teachers are Irmao` Cope e Irmoa` Pe`na. Cope went to Brazil on his mission and Pe`na went to Cape Verde. They both communicate well and I love to learn from them. Here at the MTC we get up at 6:30, go to gym for an hour, stand around waiting for a shower, eat breakfast. Then we have classroom time all until lunch. After lunch we have more class time until dinner. After Dinner we have.... more classroom time. E` muito bem. Then we have companion planning time and lights out by 10:30. One huge difference here than what I was expecting is the style of our instruction. I was expecting a rigorous course with every moment of every day scheduled out, but it is actually the opposite. Although we are in class we have tons of time to study whatever we want. I find this style somewhat difficult because I like knowing exactly what to study and get done, but I've found as I try to listen to the Spirit, I am able to learn well and find principles that I really need. It is actually a great way to go, but it will take lots of hard work on my part to really excel. My Portuguese is bem. I am learning quite a bit, but I still can't really say anything. We've learned how to pray, and bear testimony, and some vocab. I love learning new words and our district always walks around yelling out random words in Portuguese. Other probably think estou perdado a minha mente! One of our district members loves to go around yelling Dom Das Linguas! which translates to "the Gift of Tounges!" haha. The food here is actually really really good! They feed us great stuff at every meal. I even saw Connie working lunch. Thus far in the cafeteria I have also met up with Elder Roundy, Elder Roper, an Elder form my Singles ward, Elder Christian Terry and Elder King. It’s been great! I am having so much fun and I love learning and studying with a group of men whole are all dedicated to the Lord. Our dorm rooms or "residences" are pretty ok. They are big enough and all and the beds are pretty comfortable, but the only problem is that my bed is really squeaky. I have the top bunk, which I actually like, but every time I roll over it sounds like "SCREEEEEEEE PONG!" It’s ok though because Elder Larsen snores so we're even! My desk in class also squeaks and sometimes I get called Elder squeaky. Oh boy. Um, let’s see, Each P-day we will be given 30 minutes to e-mail home. I’m only allowed to e-mail family, but I will try to get letters sometimes for other people, although like I said, we are kept very busy. It is amazing to see what happens when you focus your whole mind on the work of the Lord. He blesses us so much each day and I am so thankful for the atonement. Thank you all so much for the letters you have sent me. I have gotten more than twice as many as anyone else in my district. It’s ok though because the Elders like the cookies and soda you've sent. Thank you for your letter Sharon! I love to hear about your day and how your life is going since I'm not there right now. That funny that you knocked on my door to wake me up because usually it’s the other way around! I am praying for Sister Rich. Please keep me informed about how she is doing. I love you all so very much. Mom, you are the greatest ever. Sharon, I am so thankful you are my sister and I miss you but I love you! I can feel your support and also Dad's. I know that the Church is true and I am excited to preach His gospel to the world. I love the MTC and everything about this church. I know God blesses his Children and I pray we will all strive to keep his commandments. I've got to go do my laundry now, but please tell me how things are going.
Love you always,
Elder Markham

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