Cambe February 7, 2011

Oi Momma! Thank you so much for your letter! You always have so much to say that means so much to me. I really appreciate your advice on how to cope with the stress and the purpose of the work and everything. It’s completely true that if life wasn´t hard we would probably feel cheated in some way. I´ve never really thought of it that way so thank you!

That’s crazy that you had a crazy huge storm. Here it has been raining a ton too which actually helps with the heat. A story that I think is pretty cool/funny is we were out teaching in a huge storm and there was tons of thunder and lightning too. We were giving the first lesson and when we got to the first vision I said `Vi um pilar de luz...`(saw a pillar of light) and in that exact moment nearly there was a HUGE lightning bolt with thunder that took out the power. Yeah, I totally call down thunder in our lessons :)

Thank you for praying for me to reach my goals. I can feel the help. This week has been one of the hardest working most productive weeks yet on my mission. The best part is that we had guess what? BAPTISM this week! Yeah! We baptized Cícero this last Saturday and he was confirmed in church and will receive the priesthood next week! The story was so cool. We´ve been teaching him for a long time now and running out of ideas how to help him. One day we had a division with the zone leaders and I and Elder Pinho worked here in Cambé. We went over to Cícero´s house and he kind of was still scared about baptism and everything but said he had a desire to be baptized. Elder Pinho had a baptismal form in his backpack and he just pulled it out and said “if you have faith in Christ you will sign this form and be baptized this Saturday.” Cícero just thought for a minute, then signed it and was baptized! I know that this truly was a miracle and that your prayers helped this to happen! It was a really happy moment. Something interesting is that Cícero has a lot of back problems and couldn´t bend back for the baptism, so we did it kneeling in the water which was a cool experience.

We also found a whole bunch of new people to teach this week and its going to be a lot of fun to keep on working with them. Elder Lee and I get along well and it’s kind of nice to be able to communicate with him well! He is from Sandy and has lots of family there. Maybe next week I´ll send you their address and you can say hi or something. The sisters baptized this week too and are doing great! This last month the mission baptized 105 people and our goal this month is 125. We are hoping for 3 baptisms this month here in Cambé and we already have 1. We have two more people named Stela and Rojeiro who could definitely be baptized really soon. We will work and pray hard!

That is sweet that my package got there finally. The MP3 works well. It has some weird problems here in Brazil, but whatever. I can listen to my music so thank you a whole ton! We are eating well too thanks for asking. I got really sick last week and lost a little weight, but I´m just great now and the food here is really good. Ice cream is awesome.

Mom, I know that this church is true and that this is the work of the Lord. I have a strong testimony that miracles are real and that God knows and loves each and every one of us. I am excited for the time that I can understand more about the plan and everything because right now I definitely do not. I know the time will come when I will though. I love you Mom so much. Being away helps me to appreciate family and I promise to be a better son when I come home. I know Dad is helping us too. I continue to pray for you every day and thank you so much for all the love and support. Till later days!
-Elder Markham

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