Omaha September 27, 2010

Hello Mother!
I didn't get your e-mail yet so I'm sorry if I can't answer your questions very well... we're here sort of early today because we don't have a car and we've got lots of stuff to do on P-day and so we're kind of running around crazy-like! As for the backpack I thought that there was a blue (not the black tatty one) one someplace in my closet, but if not, no problem. My current one just has a stupid strap that digs into my side if I put much weight in. I'd like one, but ONLY if it’s cheap. We're going to Wal-Mart today and I'll take a look there because they probably have school supplies.
So, this week has been really interesting/exciting/non-interesting/awesome. Earlier in the week we had a Zone conference with Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the 70. He spoke a whole ton about Isaiah 55 where it says that Gods ways are higher than our ways. God knows the beginning from the end and if we want to have a real heads up on life, we should rely on His methods and revelation rather than trying to plow ahead by ourselves. He said the 5 steps to do this and defeat Satan are 1. Pray always 2. Listen to the Prophets 3. Read the scriptures 4. Fast 5. Obey the commandments. There are some really cool scriptures about that. We should have a competition or something to see if you can guess any of them or find awesome ones. We can always use a good old scripture. He was mission President in Brazil before and when I met him I said "Bom Dia! Tudo Bem?" Then he answered in Portuguese and even though I understood I totally froze up because he was a 70 and I didn't expect him to really say very much back.... ha! It was terrific. The weather here is starting to cool down. We’ve been getting a ton of rain lately, which is fine except for the fact us not having a car deal. I actually think it’s kind of fun. It’s probably good training for Brazil. It’s actually sort of satisfying to walk around in the pouring rain preaching the gospel. Makes me think I should be in an MTC video or something. I got my Preach my Gospel all wet and remembered Ryan parking his car on his wet math book. I didn’t have a car, but we stacked like 100 lbs on it from our weight set and it’s good as new! Ok. Enough randomness. So the Lord has really blessed us in interesting ways this week. As I mentioned earlier, the work here is a tad bit slow and we don’t have a ton of investigators, but this week we found three more people. The interesting thing is that those three are our only investigators at the moment, but all three of them agreed to be baptized in October in our first lesson. So our numbers are wacky because we've got very few lessons taught, but three baptismal dates! I am so thankful that the Lord is preparing people in every part of the world to receive the gospel. It won’t be an easy road for any of the people we're teaching, but if salvation was easy would it be worth having? Whenever times get tough I like to read D&C 121-122 "Christ hath descended below all things. Art thou greater than He?" Another area we are focusing on is less-active work. It’s wonderful to help bring people to Christ and know that He is really helping us out. The members who are active are so solid and so great. They help us out all the time with rides and food and all that. They are wonderful people and I already love the ward here. My companions and I are getting along really well and I'm excited to keep on trucking! General Conference will be terrific also. Well, that’s pretty much the update for this week. One funny story is that we have a guy we're working with who never wants to pray and so we do the nose-goes game at the end of all our lessons and try to catch him unawares. It’s really funny because he never knows when we're going to stop teaching and touch our noses. Good times.
So what’s been happening back at home? How is the family doing? How is school for Sharon? Gone on any crazy adventures? Any natural disasters and or monster invasions? I'll try and check my e-mail again later, but I'm not sure I'll be able to.
I love you all so much and wish you the best! Enjoy conference and know that I am thinking and praying for you. I love this church and the light it brings into people’s eyes. I know God wants nothing but the best for us and when we line up our priorities with His life can be so much easier. I know Christ is my redeemer and I want to work as hard as I can to say thank you for His help. I know we have a living prophet to guide us and that Joseph Smith really did bring back Christ's church. Have a fantastic week and know that I'll be thinking of you!
-Elder Markham

P.S. One Brazil Elder got his visa and took off this week, so there is still hope! Tchau.

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