Cambe February 28, 2011

Momma! First of all, I love you very much. Secondly, that is a lot of crazy cool news; especially about all the mission calls happening in the ward. I am so very happy that Tyler is going on his mission! I know I probably wasn´t his closest friend, but I have always thought a lot about him and hoped he would go! I know Dad helped him out a whole ton too. What a great kid.

First, I´ll answer your questions and then I´ve got some news for YOU! This week went really well! We taught lessons até o pó and found even more people who are interested. The coolest is Jessica. We are teaching her entire family and when we taught the commandments like word of wisdom and chastity she said ýeah, I don’t have any problems with that. Ever since I started reading the Book of Mormon I just didn´t feel any more desire to do any of that stuff. Wahoo! She could be baptized this very week! Her mom really likes the stuff too! We are teaching another family with two sons named Ricardo and Rafael. They are all super interested and love the lessons, but still have trouble going to church. We found another family who when we knocked on the door the Mom just said to us: We took lessons from the missionaries a long time ago and we already we go to church and I already know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. They have a whole family who are so happy and bright! I put this in Google translator and it said this: baptize us! Ha! Super cool.

We are also working with a guy who has managed to cut from 80 cigarettes per day down to 10. He is going to church and could be baptized this week! We are teaching another lady too who came to church this week and loved it and made lots of friends. Yeah!

The mission conference with Elder Tobias was crazy. We had to change our teaching style completely! Before we had become accustomed to explain how Jesus was baptized and how he organized his church and everything with considerate detail in the first lesson to help people understand the baptismal invitation when we gave it, but Elder Tobias warned us that we need to rely more on the spirit and not “prep” people to give a certain answer. We need to just teach with power, and let the Holy Ghost tell them whether to say yes or no. A very cool thought, but we have noticed it harder to receive yeses. It’s something to work on anyways.

Cícero is doing great. He got the priesthood and he now has the calling to wait by the door and greet people. He says his spiritual life has never been better and he is rather happy. Stella is having a lot of difficulties gaining acceptance from her family about her decision, but she has a really strong group of friends here and I believe it will turn out well. Guilherme is still planning to go on a mission and he is doing super. Rhuan is having a very difficult life, but he is continuing strong in the church and his grandma is taking good care of him. Antonio is just awesome and crotchety. He is so funny. Karine is loving church too. Ala Cambé is really quite good at integrating people. Thank you for your advice about loving the ward. I really have come to love the ward here. There are so many great people.

This leads to my next piece of news. This morning I was transferred! Tomorrow I will head to the bus to Bauru (spelling? não sei) Sáo Paulo. I do not know where that is or what my area will be or who my companion is yet. I only know that I´m leaving Cambé. I´m excited but it is sad at the same time. Elder Lee and I have really come close and learned a lot together. Cambé is a terrific area and I will miss these people a lot, but it is the will of the Lord and so we go! I´ll let you know more of what happens next week I guess! Thank you so much for all of your faith and prayers. I can really feel the Lord helping because I know we don’t merit any of this on our own. Thank you for all of the advice you give I love it! You are the best Mom. I know Dad loves us a lot too and that he is helping a lot. I know this church is true and that we have a living prophet on the earth today. When I testify about this I feel this conviction in my chest that I know it is true and I wouldn´t deny it for anything. I pray the Lord every day to be humble enough to be His instrument and I am learning so much. Good luck this week and know that I love you!
-Elder Markham

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