Cambe January 10, 2011

Hi Momma! Here, have some sunshine! I wish that I could send some your way and maybe pick up some snow in return. It is wicked hot, especially during the afternoon. Oh well, on with the work! Thank you for your letter and love! I´m sorry that January is so dark and gloomy. I remember how the weather gets. I think you are exactly right though, we have winter so that we can appreciate the spring. We have sorrow so that we can appreciate happiness. We have rice and beans every day for lunch so we can appreciate ice cream. I am so proud that you are such a great Mom and that you are always so strong even when the sun isn´t shining and things are really hard; Thank you so much for all your advice and wisdom that you send me. Every week I am so happy to hear from you.

This week was pretty much great! We spent a lot of time searching out inactive families on the ward list and it has given some really great things. We are teaching a new family who went inactive after some family problems but now they want to return and they have a 12 year old son who is not baptized yet.

We are also teaching a family who the dad is a member, but he just got out of prison and wants to help his new family live right. The wife isn´t baptized yet, but they really love receiving the lessons.

CĂ­cero, who we´ve been working with lately came to church with us this week and said he liked it and wanted to come back. He is also trying really hard to stop smoking and he could definitely be baptized soon! He is such a great and humble man.

We are still working with the family who is a friend of a member. They love the lessons, but it is difficult to find them because they work a lot. Also, the member who comes with us talks A TON. It’s great that he has good friendship, but our lesson the Book of Mormon which we said would last only 10 min was well, longer. We talked for 10 minutes and then the member talked for 1 hr 10 min. There was just no stopping him! I was a bit annoyed at the time, but now I just think it’s funny. Everything turned out alright.

Jacqueline is doing great and loving the church, but we found out that her mother who does not live with her is very against the church. Her Dad loves it though and we are trying to find out who has custody to see if we can baptize her. Pray for her for sure! Our prospects are great right now and the Lord is truly blessing us.

To answer your questions real quick: I play in church sometimes but usually not because we have several youth who play and really like to play in church. We walk to church; it’s only like 10 min away, so no problem. The activity with Jeff is cool, but wouldn´t work here. Maybe we can think of something similar. So, the awesomeness of today is that since our zone baptized the most out of the whole mission last month we got to have P-day com Presidente! It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo cool. As you will see from the pictures I took, yeah, we totally played paintball. HA! It was awesome demais. Us 20 missionaries went to this course and really had a great time. The game was capture the flag and we played 5 on 5. Due to previous experience, I pretty much dominated :) The other really good person who did great Sister Felipe! She is from Rio de Janeiro, so we all figure she has lots of practice too. (Teasing of course!) President played too and we shot him up pretty good. All in all a really awesome day. The only problem is took 3 shots to the back of my head and I´ve got some sweet goose eggs, but hey! like the Portuguese version of come come ye saints says: Tudo bem! Tudo bem! We also had barbeque and played soccer which was cool.

Anyhow, things are going just great! I love you momma so very very very much. The mission is definitely very difficult, but it is worth it. The joy you feel when you bring a soul to Christ or even teach someone to pray for the first time is 100 times better than even unloading paintballs on your Zone Leaders. I said that kind of jokingly, but the joy in this work is really so great. I know this church is true and has Christ at its head. I know God lives and loves us. I know that the spirit is helping our family so much every day, even when it doesn´t seem like it. Mom, keep smiling even through the winter. The sun will come again and one day we will all arrive in the celestial kingdom as a family. Keep up the good work. I love you so much! Merry 10 of January!
-Elder Markham

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