Elder DeSouza, Rhuan, and some crazy tall missionary on the end

Rhuan's Baptism

Rhuan and Family

Como Fazer Contactos

Nossa Casa

A Bird We Caught

Feliz Natal! December 27, 2010 Cambe

Feliz Natal!
I just can´t tell you how happy I was to talk to you on Christmas! I´m glad you liked the song so much too! I think I will try to send more stuff like that. It was so good to hear your voice and how you are doing and everything. It’s too bad MSN didn’t work that well, but I think we should try Skype on Mother’s day. Some other Elders had luck with Skype and I think it works better. But from what I saw you both are looking really well! You look really healthy and great momma! The lord really is blessing our family I just know it. I am so thankful to have you guys and also all the rest of our extended family so close by to take care of us! Family is really what it’s all about. Next week you will have to send pictures of Christmas and everything! My Christmas was really great. Firstly, like I said we had a baptism this week which was awesome! It’s really great to have success in the work because you know that you are really helping people! Christmas Eve was good too. It was really hard to teach because everyone was with family and having parties and such, but we visited a few people and spent the evening at a member’s house with some REALLY good food! Christmas day we got up and walked about an hour to get to lunch, but it was totally worth it. We taught a good lesson there, although unfortunately we may have to stop visiting that investigator because he doesn´t want to change :( darn agency. Then we walked back and got ready to call our parents! I was kind of freaking out because I thought you hadn´t received the email and my phone cards weren´t working and I thought I wouldn´t get to talk to you, but I said a little prayer and everything worked out just terrific! Christmas day was pretty rainy, but that was ok because it wasn´t too hot! Christmas night we passed with another member who we are really good friends with. They made super goo churrasca (BBQ) and some kind of powder stuff that was super good. Also Pasoca is my new favorite thing here. It’s like chewy peanut brittle. Also they about died when I told them that in America we don’t eat rice and beans with every meal! (A funny side note is that people here think that 80% of Americans are grossly obese because we only eat hamburgers. It’s pretty funny!) Elder De Souza got to talk video conference with his family and I got to talk to them too and it was really fun. They are doing really well. Elder De Souza was teasing his Dad because he couldn´t stop crying. Yesterday we had a great meeting with president and learned of a ward in Rio that baptized 140 people in 10 months! We are reevaluating how we are working and hope to see more and more success every week! Thank you for the photos of the moon too! I told President and he thought it was really really interesting. He said “better start working really fast elder!” hahaha. I know that we are living in the last days, but this is a time of hope, not fear. I know we have the true gospel to bring us through whatever trials may be awaiting us. I really admire your strength and your testimony mom. I know that not many people could have the strength to accomplish what you have. You have always been such a terrific mom and example and I am so thankful for everything that you have done for me. I can truly say I wouldn’t be here without you. I know without doubt that this gospel is true. I know we have a perfect Father-in-heaven cheering us on and helping us every way He can. I know Christ lives and he paid the price for us to become like Him. I know we have a living prophet, 12 apostles and the true priesthood. I know the Church is true and will bring us to complete happiness. Give Sharon a hug for me and tell her how great she is. Dad is here helping us; I know it right alongside the angels in heaven to carry us through. Keep on smiling and have a super good New Year! Thank you for everything and always remember how much I love you. I love you 1 katrillion times more than THIS much.
Happy Holidays!
-Elder Markham

Lyrics to Song

Lyrics to video

esou sonhando numa Natal branco,
mas em brasil só tem tem calor
Sm Londrina é bem quente
e de repente
Eu pego quemadura do sol
Mas Estou sonhando numa natal branco
com cada carta escrevo
Espero que seu Natal será ótimo
e mesom meu embora não temos ..... SNOW!

Steven Singing A Brazilian Christmas Carol

video

Juventude de Cambe

Lots of Laser Pictures. No Eh. That's Because Lasers are Awesome

Eu Sou Homen de Ferro

Ear Lazer

Legal Ponte De Negocio

Panqueces

Dinner

Family Home Evening Night

Bible Bash

Cambe December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010
Oi from Cambé!
As the first bit of news, I was not transferred and neither was Elder De Souza. We will be here mais uma tranferencia! Actually I think this is awesome because Cambe is a great place and it will be my first time to stay somewhere more than a month! Ha! As for good ole Provo that is crazy that the tabernacle burned down! Crazy! That thing has always been there. Oh well, I guess life is full of changes and old things become new. I bet Grandpa was sad to hear about that. I hope they can rebuild it real nice...
I know the Lord is blessing us a whole ton with your health and such, but still winter can be a hard time I know. It’s cold and dark and gloomy, but at least it’s not 100 degrees and raining and humid! Christmas will be really weird here in the heat! As a matter of fact this inspired a song that I will send to you in another e-mail. Thank you for your advice. A lot of that stuff is in Preach MY Gospel, but I always need a reminder to keep on going! Thank you so much for your sensitivity and love. I can relate to Jesse, it is really hard to joke around in Portuguese and I am a bit of a robot. Also, Elder De Souza knows Jujitsu and so practical jokes are...... unwise :) My only defense is to sit on him because I´m like twice his size. A whole bunch of our old investigators unfortunately had to be dropped for a time because of that pesky agency thing, but we are working really hard to find new people to teach. We are going to have a baptism this Wednesday for a kid named Juan. He is way smart and although his parents aren´t members he goes to church every week with his Grandma and he is way excited about everything. Brazilian kids are pretty cool. This week we also found a new area of the city that we hadn´t been and found some good people to teach. One just recently lost her boyfriend in a car wreck and we had a really spiritual lesson about the plan of salvation. She knows lots of people in the church and we are going to work really hard to help her out and get baptized! Hurray for Israel! Tonight we have an appointment with a Jehovah Witness family who wants to hear our lesson and then give theirs. It should be pretty exciting! Ha-ha. (Disclaimer: Bible Bashing is bad and we will not do that.) It’s also been raining a TON this week which is nice for the sun, but rather.... wet. Yup. That about sums up my life. What between that chuva and the pia batismal..... :) Please tell Sis Gornichec and the rest of the ward thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been so blessed with wonderful examples and I know it is thanks to all of them that I am here. We are getting pretty excited for Christmas too! Yea! Christmas! I will clearly want to hear all the updates next week about virtually everything. Thanks!
Elder Markham

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Cambe Style

video

Reunida

Really Cool

Meu Presente Ao Gustavo

Nosso Bolo

Christmas Parade in Cambe

Cambe December 13, 2010

Oba! Bom dia de Brasil!

Thanks for sending the pictures of everybody. It’s so nice to see familiar faces and everybody seems to be doing great! I am way jealous that you get to enjoy the cooking of Kevin and Grandma and everybody. Mmmmmm. Food that isn´t rice or Raman noodles..... (Mouth water). So, there are some announcements to be made:
Primerio: Ryan got his mission call! Woo hoo!!! That is the coolest thing I´ve heard since the song “greatest man that ever lived” by Weezer! Congratulations demais! Brazil as well! Way to pick a good place to go. Maybe you can even stopover in Nebraska for a little bit too! Teasing of course. Get your visa. Now. Just do it. Baptize......

Also, there have been some birthdays of really awesome people. I would send birthday cards, but #1 it’s really expensive, and #2 you won’t get them until about half-way through the millennium, so please accept my humble e-shout out!

Happy birthday to Grandma Elaine! Thank you for always being such a wonderful example and a great missionary! I love you so much and you are a great example of diligent service family and the Lord. Parabem!

Also, Happy Birthday to my favorite Uncle Scott! May your days be ever full of Dollar Bills and Cafe Rio. Great work at the Tri-Plex!

Finally: Happy birthday War Machine. You know who you are with your birthday all this week and almost are as old as me. Keep being 2-legit-2-quit. Keep on saving the world and take luck!

This week has been full of stuff. I will start typing really fast and hope my fingers do not fall off.
This week has been really really hot! Today is great because we had a big thunderstorm to cool things down. This week Papai Noel arrived here in Cambé riding on the faithful Coca Cola truck. Since we live right in the center of town, he passed right in front of our house and there was a huge party and everything was all Christmassy! Our only problem is they built a huge stage in the square right in front of our house and they are having concerts every night until Christmas! Issh!!! It’s really loud and there are a ton of people, so it’s not always ideal for sleeping and planning and such. On the brightside, it looks like I´ll get to hear some Brazilian rock concerts! Did I say brightside..... haha.. ha... ? (It’s totally cool) We also want to go sit on Papai Noel´s lap and ask him for baptisms. I wonder what he would say. The same night that this happened we had a secret Santa party with the youth in our ward. Elder De Souza got a sweet tie and I got a new wallet of Brazilian leather which is cool. I drew one of our investigators (Gustavo) and gave him a hacky-sack (holly´s hacky sack actually, I hope you don’t mind!) He liked it a ton! The ward also gave us a free pizza which was better than gold! Well, maybe not because gold can buy pizza... Hmm. I´ll think about that one. It was way fun. We also had a zone conference with an area 70 for Brazil. It was a way spiritual meeting. He taught us a ton of good stuff about how to teach and work with members and he is also really funny. The biggest thing he said is that we need to be more courageous here in Brazil Londrina. Never be afraid to invite someone to action for fear that they will say no. Invite always! The three most effective ways to spread the gospel are 1. Abri a boca, 2. Abri a boca and last and possibly most important 3. Abri a boca. I definitely want to be less shy and share the gospel with lots more people. The next day we had a Christmas conference with our zone again. It was waaay fun. We had a white elephant swap (called amiga da onca. Go go Google!) And it was hilarious. I got a chess set and Elder De Souza got a fake rat. Somebody got a statue of a Catholic Saint. Haha! Too funny! We had a cake building competition and ate tons of candy and had a treasure hunt and I felt like I was 6 again and it was totally awesome!!! We got to eat lots of good food too. After, President Tavares gave an awesome talk about the Atonement of Christ. It needs to be the focus of everything that we do. I felt such a strong spirit there that because of Christ and His sacrifice, we can become exactly what God wants us to, It doesn´t matter what weaknesses or hardships we have. If we follow Christ we WILL reach our righteous goals. He was willing to die for murderers and liars and addicts. Are we willing to do the same? He gave everything to save the one. Do we reach out to those near us that we can lift? I know that Christ is our Savior and that he atoned for our sins. I know the gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I have felt the spirit testify of these things and every person on the earth can receive the same answer if they open their hearts. At this time of Christmas I really want to learn to be more like Christ and love others more. I know the Church is true and I love my family so very much.
Ohh! One more exciting thing is that yesterday we marked another person to be baptized! He is the son of a part member family named Juan and he will be baptized this week or the following, depending on a few small things. How great is this work! Thank you for your support and love. I will be praying and thinking about you every day!
Love you so very much!
-Elder Markham

Yummy Peanut Butter on Crackers. Almost as good as Birthday Cake.

lightning storm

They are building a concert stage in front of our apartment.

Christmas Lights

Is That Elder Markham as an Angel. I really must be dreaming.

What! A frosty in Cambe. I must be dreaming.

Elder DeSouza sang as he walked and walked and walked and walked

Happy Birthday Cambe December 6, 2010

Thank you so much for the letter! It is so exciting that Abbey and Dallin have a new son! The pictures are great too! Oh man, our family is cool. Que pena que ele não nasceu no Dec 3. haha! Please tell Abbey and Dallin congratulations! That’s sweet that BYU (especially basketball) is doing awesome. Brandon Davies too! That is pretty sweet. Go cougars for sure. I receive letters now and then from some of my friends at BYU and it’s good to hear Provo is still doing just fine! Thank you for the birthday wishes too! I got your package with Peanut butter and Hugs like 3 days before my birthday! It’s super good to have those things. Thank you so very very much. Things were alright on my birthday, but it is so nice to know I have a family at home thinking about me. I miss you guys a lot. I got cards from Sharon and you and Grandma. So, thank you for the happy birthday! I´m so glad too that you are having the opportunity to enjoy the season and get out and do stuff with Mary Anne and the family! The lights in Spanish Fork are super cool. I think I went there once on a date or something. Not really sure, but the lights are awesome.
As for here in Cambé, things are a bit slow. That ok though because it’s a great chance to practice finding and talk to lots of people. Guilherme is doing super well. He received the priesthood and he and another youth in the ward are going to submit their mission papers this coming year. He is a super great person. His Mom is really solid too. She loves the visits and has been to church every week for a month and is doing well. The only problem is that she is not married to Guilherme´s father and it is really a complicated situation from the legal standpoint. It’s really hard to get marriages and divorces approved here. I have faith that everything will turn out great though. We found another family this week too who are really neat. Their son Pedro is hilarious. In our first lesson with them he started saying stuff like, “I don’t understand the other religions, what with all the yelling non-sense and falling down on the floor and acting crazy.” It was really funny the way he said it, and of course we do not do that in our church. He also asked about the principle of eternal progression which was surprising because usually peoples questions are on the level of “why are both your names Elder?” really cool. This week will be sweet because we have a ward Christmas party, a mission tour with a general authority from the Area 70 for Brazil and also a Zone Christmas party. I´m really excited. Here in Cambé everybody is starting to get really excited about Christmas. Tomorrow Santa Clause will drive into town riding on the town Coca-Cola truck. Apparently it’s a tradition here. Anyhow, he will pass our house and I´m excited. The other problem is that we live in the square basically in the center of town and for Christmas they are building a huge stage to have concerts right in front of our house. Hmm. President may have to temporarily move us someplace. Although, it would be cool to get to see some Brazilian concerts..... teasing of course! This week has been really stormy. We had a huge lightning storm and it rained every day this week. I´m getting used to the weather but it’s still really hot. Speaking of Christmas, we need to set up a time to talk on Christmas. Assume you´ll use your cellular. Anyhow, let me know what time will work best with the time difference and where you will be and such. I´ll give more info soon. Anyhow, I´m still trucking and doing great. Thank you for your advice and love and support and all your prayers. I know that this Gospel is true and Christ loves us all very much. Life can be a super huge trial, but it will be worth it in the end. I think of you often and I know the Lord is watching over you. Have a great week and always keep on smiling! I´m sending your package today, so hopefully it will arrive eventually! Love you so very very very very much.
Love, Elder Markham