Sioux City, IA August 23, 2010

I arrived Thursday afternoon to Eppley Airport in Omaha. We were immediately greeted by President & Sister Kunz. President Kunz is amazing! He has so much spiritual power and love for each of the missionaries. When we arrived he gave us all a hug and took us to the mission home for a terrific dinner. After nothing but MTC food for 2 months it was nearly the best thing ever! The next day we visited a very important pioneer site at Winter Quarters. I got to do a session at the Winter Quarters Temple. It is so amazingly beautiful! Ya'll should look up pictures of it. Then we got our new assignments. I am now serving in Sioux City, Iowa (part of the Nebraska mission).
My trainer is named Elder Miller. He is from Spanish Fork and we found out that we have actually played in band together before! He plays trumpet really well and we've done some jazz stuff together without even knowing it. My situation is weird because we are in a 4some. Elder Hudspeth and Miller are Zone leaders so they have to stay together, but Elder Miller is training me and E. Hudspeth is training Elder Pauni (a Polynesian Elder who has been out 3 weeks!) So we have 4 of us jammed in an apartment and I sleep on the floor, but it’s actually super terrific! It’s fun to have lots of Elders to talk with. On Friday I drove up to the mission and met everybody and then we did some service and tracting. Tracting was scary a little bit, but the people here are actually really nice even if they don't want to listen. It is SUPER humid and hot here right now and I sweat like a geyser (hmm... odd imagery...) but I actually don't mind too much. Its probably real good prep for Brazil anyways! I went to church and met lots of members and investigators and they are all super cool. They had me go to the Spanish branch afterwards and I could sort of almost nearly understand some of the things they said on occasion... (How’s that for confidence!) We've had member dinners every night since I got here and I am feeling super blessed. Elder Miller has 4 people with baptismal dates coming up really fast. He is a stupendous Elder and I am excited to learn how real missionary work is. It’s pretty different from the MTC but that’s ok. Today is my first real P-day so soon we will be going out shopping and stuff. We have a washer/dryer inside our apartment so it’s actually super convenient. Our Apt. is pretty nice and we have space for all of us. 2 bathrooms even wow! We get to come use these computers in a school library and I don't really have a time limit anymore. I appreciate any letters you send, but I think I'll just e-mail the family because it’s cheaper and faster! Please write back with any questions or anything. I still don't really know exactly what’s happening ever, but I'm learning fast and having a great time. I am safe sound and smiling so no worries! I am so very thankful for this opportunity to serve and I am starting to realize what a great blessing it is to have the support that I do. Thank you so much to all the wonderful people who contributed great amounts of time and money to help me be here. I wouldn't be out if it wasn't for the influence of such great people in my life. Again a sincere thank you to everyone who has played such a wonderful role in my life. I love you all so much.
Elder Markham

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