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

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