Family of Antonio

Antonio's Baptism

Nosso Amigo


Distrito do Poder

Cambe has lots of hills

Cambe November 29, 2010

Hiya Momma!
Thank you so very much for your letter! Please don´t appologize for it being long because I love long letters! It sounds like everything is going really great back at home for the holidays! There is only one thing I would like to correct about your e-mail. Yes it WOULD be fun to watch BYU win all the time! haha! Tell Grandpa I said that. So, this week I have some really exciting news, but I think I will build the suspense by answering your questions first and possible annexing several chapters of War and Peace for you to read first. That way you can appreciate it more ;)

As for the orthotics, I don’t know why they started having problems, but they just stopped fitting. They were fine before and in Nebraska, but I definitely walk more here and perhaps I have changed weight or my feet have grown a little bit more. Não sei. I did call Sister Tavares about my orthotics. we have to authorize all medical things with her before and she is the one who lined up the foot doctor. It was a nice hospital and had no problems. I think things are in general pretty nice here in Londrina. The doctor says that he has never seen a hard orthotic like the one I have and that here in Brazil they are all covered in foam. I am going today to get a mold to make a new one. Foam sounds really nice actually.

Since you saw Cambé on Google Earth you know how big it is. We cover the entire city, hence = building character and calluses. It’s all good though. Missionary work it totally worth it. Sorry if I sounded miffed or anything in the last letter. We were just in a bit of a hurry that is all. Yeah, it’s getting really hot and rainy, but hey, it’s brazil! What can you expect? I actually like the rain a lot because it cools things down. It gets really windy here too! Woo! It’s really exciting to be running down the roads trying to find cover with torrential rain and huge gusts of wind (like yesterday). Seriously, it’s really fun! Yes, they have tons of Guaraná here. tons. Hits awesome. Que pena que eles não vendem mais a Guaraná em Utah. That’s way cool that Cambé is named for Cambridge. It doesn’t seem like there are many English roots here... and everybody thinks I´m German. haha!

That’s sweet that Harry Potter turned out good. I do actually miss movies. Not movies for movies sake, but mainly just sitting and enjoying the company of family and friends. Snow would be awesome too! Tell Sharon we can switch weather if she wants! So, as for Thanksgiving, claro não existe aqui, mas estou muito feliz lembrando o alimento de Kevin! Family dinners are the best. The members here are pretty good about feeding us though. I actually like the food here a lot. Rice and beans haven’t gotten old yet! Yum. Food. That is so exciting to hear about Abbey and Jessica and Liz! When the baby is born you will have to send me some pictures! That is one thing I really like is pictures. The people here really like to see photos of family and friends and life in Utah.

Also, everybody (including Elder De Souza) wants to write letters to Sharon. Haha! Seriously, they all say she is really cute. The only problem is the whole Portguês thing... Thanks for the update on BYU sports. All I can say is: go cougs. I know nothing about soccer which is obviously VERY popular here. All of the Brasileiro Élderes estçao extrememente chatiado que nos não podemos jogar futebal durante a missão! One things is could you send me how to make Alfredo sauce? That´d be super swell. Everyone here is getting extremely excited for Christmas! We are having a conference with a general authority and also with our Zone on two different days for Christmas. We are excited because at the Zone conference we will be playing Amigo da Onca, which is exactly like the white elephant game we play at Markham’s house. It’s going to be sweet. We are also having a secret Santa in our ward here in Cambé. It’s really cool because I drew the name of a young man who is not baptized but always comes to young men’s. We have been working with him and he has lots of potencial! Maybe I´ll give him the gift of baptism for Christmas. Or maybe socks. hmm... (I actually think I´ll give him a hacky sack. All the Brazilians think I´m crazy and they love the hacky sack.)
So: Here is my awesome story for this week: With lots of colons: : :
: :
: ::: ;...:: : ¨¨ ¨¨¨,, <----(Braile)

So we have been working with an awesome man named Antonio for a while now. His wife is a member and he has been going to church for 21 YEARS and never baptized. He has had 3 different baptismal interviews and then backs out at the last minute every time. He recently moved here to Cambé and he has been having some really difficult times lately. One afternoon we visited him and he was having a really hard time. We talked about adversity with him and gave him a blessing. After we left, we felt like we needed to talk to the Bishop about helping him. The only problem is that Antonio told us not to tell anyone about the details of his problems. As luck (yeah right) had it we ran into the Bishop that very night and talked to him about the situation, being only very general, like this e-mail, to respect Antonio and suggested he talk with him. Two days later we passed his house again and nobody was there. We were kind of bummed, but it happens a lot on the mission. That night we got a phone call from his daughter who said that we needed to come talk with Antonio right now. Our initial reaction was: Oh no. Bishop talked to him and now he is really mad that we told somebody and he is calling us over to chew us out big time. The whole walk over there was really nervous and we were praying about what we could say to him to not lose an investigator. We finally got there and knocked on this fence. The seconds seemed to stretch forever as we waited for him to answer. We heard footsteps approaching and then someone opening the latch. Ever so slowly the large metal door slides opens to reveal Antonio standing there in the twilight. (good description eh?) When he answered there was something different about him. He was smiling really big and waved us in, more animated than we had seen him in weeks. inside his wife and daughter and wife’s sister were all there having a great time. We went in and talked with him and he said that after the blessing he felt a lot better and started to think about the blessings God had given him, and that the day after his wife had fasted to help their family. The moment she ended her fast she was offered a job, which was part of the problem and a huge relief for them! Then his wife´s sister came in unexpectedly from São Paulo and said, I´ve arrived for your baptism Antonio! Antonio thought about this and decided, yes, it is time! He called us over that night to ask “can I be baptized this Sunday, or do I need to wait a week”? We were stunned and so happy and everybody was crying and pretty much it was just really awesome beyond description. We had the baptism at 8 AM Sunday morning and I got to perform my first baptism in Português! He wanted me to do it because he was afraid Elder De Souza wasn´t tall enough to lift him out of the water again! This was a really great week and I have gained a huge testimony about the power of faith, fasting and good influences. I know God has a plan for each and every one of us and all things will work together for our good. The gospel is just really great. It truly was a miracle and everybody was so happy afterwards AND they gave us some candy bars. Yes! Other than that, things are going pretty well. We are a little low on investigators, but that is partially because we´ve had three baptisms already! No complaints here!

One more piece of news that is crazy and sort of scary is that we had interviews with President and he told Elder De Souza that the mission will be losing lots of experienced Elders and gaining even more brand new Elders. This means they will need lots of trainers and younger people will get called as leaders. President said “I want to train Elder Markham how to be senior companion.” Elder De Souza said it is very probable that he will be called trainer for someone else and I will get bumped up to senior after only 2 months in Brazil. Yikes demais!!!! If this actually happens I will need you to pray for me probably about 46789 times per day. I still only understand probably like 70% of what is said to me, but whatever the Lord wants will happen I suppose.

I love you so very much! Please give Sharon a hug for me too! Brother Merrell wrote me a really nice letter, and if you see him tell him thank you! I know that this Church is true and that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that we have a living prophet to guide us in these latter days. I love brazil and my mission and I know the Lord is watching over us always. Thank you so much for you prays and support. I will be praying for you every night! I love you so much mom. Happy Thanks giving and have a super great holiday break!
sempre amor,
Elder Markham

Hackey Elder Markham


Hackey Pedro

A Long Road

Casa in Cambe

Cambe November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010
Bom dia!
Thank you for the letter and the pictures! Mom, you are looking so much better every time I see a picture of you! I´m so happy that the Lord is blessing our family so very much. That is great news that you can stop using cytoxin! Keep up the good work for sure. I actually kind of miss the snow. I prefer cold to really hot. It’s been bem quente aqui no Cambé. Mostly the humidity is killing me, but it’s all good. I love how here in Brazil they have tons of little family stores on every corner and you can just stop in and buy water or soda or ice cream or whatever. It’s very awesome. This will be my first Christmas that isn’t cold. How very strange. I was thinking about Thanksgiving too and how great it always is to spend with the family. I love watching those movies after dinner! How was the Harry Potter by the way? I´m vaguely interested. The one problem I am having right now is with my orthotics. They are giving my pretty bad blisters and today a visited a doctor here about it and he said that it is really strange that they are made of the really hard plastic that they are. We are going to try and get some new ones made out of this foam, but I hope that they aren´t really expensive... vamos ver. Hooray that BYU is sort of pulling out of their slump too! Go cougars. One thing I forgot to write last week is that was Joy’s birthday. I don´t know how often you and Sharon hear from any of them, but if you see her tell her happy birthday and that she should receive quite the letter from Elder De Souza! This week was pretty good. The sisters in our district had a super week with 3 baptisms! Our investigators are having some problems at the moment, but we found a really great new family this week and of course we are going to continue working with all of them. Keep praying for us! It’s been raining a lot lately which is nice because it keeps down the heat. Hmmm. Que mais? I can´t really think of too much more to relate and I´m also really hungry right now so the natural man might win out over a long letter..... I would however like to share my testimony that I know the church is true. I know that GOD knows and loves each one of us individually and He will do anything righteous to help us. I know we have a living Prophet and true scriptures and that the Atonement of Christ gives us the power to become everything we can possibly be. I love the gospel and I am thankful for this opportunity to be serving here. Keep praying for me and my companion!
Love you so very much Momma! I will try to think of a good story for next week. I´ll be praying for you!
Elder Markham


Waiting out the Storm

Moving Ninjas

Modern Day Prophets

Cambe November 15, 2010

Hiya Momma!
As always, thank you a whole ton for the e-mail. I love hearing about home. So Stake conference was good. We definitely did not meet the kind of goals our Stake President set, but a lot of the responsibility fell on the members and stuff didn’t all happen. We did have 3 investigators there with us and it was a really great experience! Two of them were the parents of Guilherme . His Mom absolutely loved it. She wants to be baptized as soon as possible, but as it turns out their marriage situation is not completely legal at the moment and we are working with them to get married so they can be baptized. His father came too and had a really great experience. He has a lot of doubts about everything we are teaching because he doesn’t not believe in the
Bible or the Book of Mormon and although he really likes us, he thinks that all churches are just trying to get money from people and that it doesn’t really matter which one you go to. He is cool though and we´ll keep working with him for sure! It was way funny at the conference too because as it is customary here to kiss on the cheek when you say hello. Guilherme went up and tried to kiss the sister missionaries. It was so funny and afterwards we were joking about it and he said he was practicing being a scorpion.

That’s way cool that you had regional conference. Anyone cool or famous speak there? What was it about? Say hello to grandma and grandpa too! I’m glad they are still out and about looking at birds. Good old Markhams. That’s one thing I really do miss is dinner with the whole family over at grandma’s house. Sense of humor? I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s actually really hard to joke around in Portuguese still. That is pretty annoying.

Renan is having some troubles still, but he is a way good kid. Just having some peer pressure problems and his mom is having trouble getting to church with us every Sunday. The amazing news though is that his Mom, Claudia, is going to get married on the 25th of this month so when she does that we can baptize them both together! Awesome!

Way exciting that Abby will have her baby soon! Their baby should be born on Dec. 3. That would be cool. Wish her all the best for me! Tease Chad back a little bit too. It’s wonderful to hear that you are walking more and more and feeling a lot better! You and Sharon should send me some pictures every once in a while so I can see how you all are doing!

So, this week was a little bit slow, but still good. We are having difficulties finding new people who are really very interested, but we have some good investigators right now. We had a really big rain storm this week and it was a little difficult to get out and work because Elder De Souza didn’t have an umbrella and Sister Tavares advised us that it’s easy to get sick here, so often it’s better to wait out the storms. The problem here is afternoons. All the heads of households generally work during the afternoon, so it’s really hard to get in and teach people and we need the night time to visit all of our solid investigators. Right now we are going to try and plan some new ways to talk with more people and have a week of power! Also, sorvette is really good. We helped a family move out this week too which was pretty fun. While doing this we discovered that they have a grandson who isn’t baptized but his family is and we are going to start working with him which will be cool. It’s so weird because all around town now people are starting to put up Christmas decorations and trees and all that stuff but it’s still like 90 degrees outside! Que estranho! Sharon says it is snowing there? If you have a really good storm please send a picture. Elder De Souza has never seen actual snow and I want to show him what it’s like in Utah. Today is a holiday here in Brasil which means that everything is closed, so it was really hard to find a computer to write this e-mail, but I think that is about all for this week. Thank you so much for your prayers. I will be praying for Sister Rich too. Thank her again for the really nice letter! I know that God listens to each and every one of our prayers, and that the more we really on God, the more success we will have in life. This week I also realized the great importance of members in missionary work. I know that this church is true. I love the gospel and it is really a lot of fun to learn more and more about the doctrines and stuff. This week we got a copy of the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith and they are way interesting. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I know President Monson is too. I know that Christ lives and loves us and we have such a great opportunity to learn and follow His will here. Thank you so much for being a great family and for all the love you show me. I will pray for you every day and always remember that I love you! Até logo!
Elder Markham

Karina, Matteus, Michael, and Us

Elder DeSouza Caught a Bird

Karina's Family

Baptism of Karine

The Chapel of the Sisters

I assume it is the sisters apartment.

Our Huge Area

Matteus and I

Cambe November 8, 2010

Thank you so much for you letter! It’s always so great to hear from you. I´ll start off answering questions. Guilherme is actually a really common name here. We know like 3 of them and the sisters are teaching a Guilherme as well. That’s weird that it is a rare name. I´m pretty sure his whole family is Brazilian too. Hmm. We are far enough from the border that I don’t really see too much Spanish influence. Elder De Souza speaks a little and he likes to talk really fast so I can’t understand his Spanish. I can’t say I always understand his Portuguese either, but I’m trying. I´ll write these here real quick and then write a bigger e-mail in a minute there. Yes, we have an oven, but we´re having trouble figuring out how to start it. I don’t think we have a casserole dish. We have a few pans and no bowls. Most of the stuff is pretty beat up too. We need some new dishes, but I don´t really want to spend the money on new stuff!
The sisters in our district are Sisters Sorenson, Horne, and Felipe (two Americans and a Brazilian.) They are cool. Yes, Elder De Souza is our District leader. Our Stake Center is in Londrina, about 35 minutes by ônibus and a little walking. Not too bad.
Thank you for the questions! I love to answer so keep them coming!
As for the weather, where I am at really isn´t all that humid. It is humid, but not that bad. Londrina and the surrounding area is actually quite a moderate place. I like that a lot! I definitely don’t need a jacket in the morning though. It is Brazil... The showers are trippy. They don’t have water heaters here, but on the showers there is this electrical box that the water runs through to heat it up. It actually works really well except there are only 3 settings: Normal (really cold) lukewarm (not warm enough) and lava (way too hot!). Wakes you up for sure! The funny thing too is since they are electrical. If you don’t wear rubber sandals, sometimes I’ve heard they give you a little zap! Haha!

Kareni is doing super well! She was baptized yesterday and will be confirmed after Stake Conference! They have a great family and we are way excited. Renan is having a bit more trouble. He went and stayed with his Dad for a weekend and came back and little different and not as excited about baptism. He changed his mind and wants to be baptized with his mother who has to get married before she can be baptized. Definitely pray for him and we are going to work with him a lot. We are teaching the mother of Guilherme and she is way awesome. She loves the visits and yesterday we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Elder De Souza asked, so what do you need to do to follow Christ? And she just said “Be Baptized”. We were a bit stunned but it was awesome! Unfortunately she needs to get married too and it is a complicated situation, but we made her a promise that the Lord would provide a way and I know that she will be baptized. Our stake conference is this week in Londrina. It will be way cool. We’re going to try to have 8 investigators there so it should be exciting! I bet Elder De Souza becomes a stake president. He is way solid and awesome. He already knows tons about leadership and stuff. The only problem is that I feel dumb sometimes because I realize how much I don’t know how to do, but I will keep working really hard and everything will turn out alright I know.

The highlight of this week was definitely the baptism. Other than that is was a little bit slow, but we are teaching some really great people and this week we have recommitted to work extra hard and make miracles happen. We are actually about to close our fast right now and Elder De Souza is super hungry so I probably won’t write much more! Keep up all your good work Mom. You are sounding so much better health wise and I know the Lord is blessing us. Thank you for all the updates and stuff. I’m sure it’s a pain to write all that stuff, but I really enjoy reading it! I know without a doubt that the gospel is true. Right now I have complete faith that the Plan of Salvation is real and that we will see Dad again. I know Jesus loves us so much and God works miracles every day of our lives according to our faith. I love you so much and I miss you, but I know this is the right place for me. Remember always what a great Mother you are and how much I love you!
-Elder Markham

Our District

Cambe November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010
Ola! As always it is an immense please to hear from you! This week has been really good. Guilharme is doing well and we are now beginning to teach his parents. His Mom says she knows the church is true, she is just having difficulty leaving her old church, but I know that right will prevail! I'm not actually sure exactly how many missionaries are here in our stake, but all the members here are being asked to bring someone too. The church is providing these really nice remembrance packets for investigators who come with finding faith in Christ and pictures of the temple and stuff. It should be really awesome! Thank you for your recipes too! Yeah, I´ve already found out about the milk situation and all that and actually it’s pretty easy to get whatever kind of food we need here. It’s really not all that different than the USA as far as food goes. The only difference is that here we have rice and beans every meal. I’ve not had any health problems though! It’s fantastic. Elder De Souza is doing much better now, but this last week we had to stay in our house for 2 days while he got better. Afterwards we got out and trabalhamos ate o pó {worked to the dust} and we reached our lessons goal despite the difficulties! To answer some more of your questions: yes, we use ônibus {bus} all the time to get around! Our area and zone is pretty large and it is nice to have means of transport for district meetings and such. Our district is actually really small. Just Elder De Souza e Eu {and I} and a pair of Sisters. They are cool too. I´ll send pictures. This week is really exiting. We´ve had a lot of progress with a lot of people here in Cambé. Unfortunately, we didn’t baptize Renan this last week but only because of the fact that he had to go out of town this weekend. He will baptize this coming weekend along with another girl named Kareni. She comes from a part member family that we’ve been working a lot with and she had a lot of doubts about being baptized, but we had a great message about our faith and trust in Christ and also her brother who was on a mission already offered to baptize her and helped her out a lot and now she will be baptized this week! Whooo! Another Investigator completely had a miracle and stopped smoking cold in one week flat. We’ve been praying for her a lot and we are confident that she will be baptized soon. We found a bunch of new families to teach and we actually have good prospects of baptizing upwards of 8 or 9 more people this coming November. Please pray for us to reach our goal! The language is still a little hard, and I feel like my teaching is really bad because I don’t really know what I’m saying, but people are still progressing and I know it is the spirit helping out not us. Elder De Souza is way good also.
Our message is really powerful and brings miracles. I remember one lesson really well because we just barely found this new family and we were teaching, and their kids were really loud and crazy, but when we gave the first vision, everything became calm and it was way cool. This week we had a crazy storm! The sky was black as night and the lightning were nearly constant. The wind was clocked at 100 k/h and it actually blew off part of our roof! All is good though. It’s taken care of and it was actually pretty fun/exciting. (The sisters said they were scared silly! ha-ha)
The blog thing is pretty cool too! Thanks for keeping me all updated and stuff. You are a really great Momma you know that?
Other than that, we are just going to keep working hard to realize 2 baptisms this week. I know the spirit of the Lord is with us and I have seen many miracles here in Cambé. I love being here in Brazil and the people are really nice and todo é otimo!{all is great!} I testify that this church is true and that God loves each of us individually.
Thank you for all your prayers and support and love.
I love you Mom and I will pray for you every night. I’m glad Sharon is doing well and I really do love to hear how things are going. I miss you but this mission is great! How was Halloween? Anything exciting coming up soon? Say hi to everyone for me!
Love Elder Markham