Number One Bad Idea (by the way it was turned on. not joking)

Life is Great!

Family: Isn't it about Time

Batismo de Pablo

Batismo de Elza & Thayna

Aniversario de Elder Villela

Bauru, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

Whooa! Bom Dia Provo!

This week has been crazy! So, the assistants decided to come to our zone this week and do divisions the whole time. This was cool, but it meant that the zone leaders were gone and in divisions the whole week and our schedules were all really complicated. That’s ok though, it was still great.

To answer a few of your questions: The American Elders had already been serving in other parts when they got here. Elder Stinocher was in Texas for a month and he already knows pretty well how to teach and stuff. The language is always a challenge for new missionaries, but he is doing really well. I hope I am being a good teacher for him. Keep praying for me please! This week ended up being a little difficult because here the Easter holiday is 4 days and it was really hard to find people at home, but we worked a ton and wore ourselves out and that’s what matters right? Also: BATISMO! This weekend was super awesome. On Saturday we did a service project in the morning and then taught this man and his son. The lesson was super spiritual and they agreed to be baptized next week! (They had already been to church a few times back in the past.) Then we had the baptism on Elza and Thayna! They were so very happy and André was on cloud 9. He is a returned missionary and has waited 23 years to see his mom baptized. It was such a special moment and really brought so much joy to everyone. The ward is excited about all the baptisms and things are going really well.

The next day was Easter and also Elder Vilella’s birthday. His Mom (from Minas Gerais) called the bishop of our ward and combined with him to bring tons of cake and guaraná to the church without telling Elder Vilella and then at the end of church they announced:
“Today is Elder Villella’s birthday. Everyone please go to the cultural hall for cake.” Elder Vilella was so embarrassed and the cake was suuuuuper good and it was just perfect! Also we have an extra 12 liters of guaraná in our fridge that nobody took. Party!

To make things even better, right after the cake we had the baptism of Pablo, the son of Ósimaria who got baptized last week! He told us that he wants to serve a mission and he is so dang cool. He always calls me Elder Gringo and thinks my camera is a gringo camera. It’s so funny. The other day though this guy thought that I was a Brazilian from Londrina where all the Germans come from. Sweet, I´ll just go with it.... Then we had a literal Easter Feast that was super super good. There is this chocolate cake called brigadeiro that makes you want to die of happiness. Mmmmm. Speaking of food, we have some funny nicknames now. Seeing as nobody in Brazil can pronounce Markham or Stinocher we have been labeled Elder Macarrão (Mah-kuh-how which means macaroni) and Elder Stroganofe (....Stroganof....) We had a few new people come to church this week, one named Jennifer who loved it and agreed to be baptized next week too! Let’s pray for miracles and do work!

So enough about me. How’s good old life in Provo? I´m glad that Ryan´s farewell deal went well. It is going to be so cool to have Nils, Ryan and me all speaking português when we get back! I have been blessed with awesome friends for sure. Oh man! Mission life is so great. Tells the Gunn´s congratulations too. That’s way cool.
Sounds like Sharon had a good time at Prom. I guess someone in our family has to know how to go on dates. There was a really funny Elder who slept at our house one night who got up at 4 in the morning and went and sat in the middle of the kitchen floor until 6:30. When asked what he was doing he said he was receiving revelation about his future wife. Pretty funny I thought.... Prom was fun I think though. I can´t actually remember it all that well any more, but tell Sharon congrats and that she is awesome. She really did look very pretty in her dress and stuff.

Tell UDOT to fix Wildwood. I want to go back there lots! Anyhow, mom I am praying for you all the time. I know you are very strong and will do well in your new job and everything. Thank you for the example and everything. You really are the greatest. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. More and more each day I am willing to sacrifice for Him. I know He loves us and that he died and lives for us. I know the church is true.

Onward Christian Soldiers!
Love, Elder Markham

Hey Good Lookin ( Elder Markham and Elder Stinocher)

Frog the Size of My Head

I Taught Him Everything I Know

First Sight of Elder Stinocher

Batismo de Ósimaria (Pablo, Elder Villela, Elder Burt, Hobo who wandered into the picture *Elder Markham)

Bauru, April 18, 2011

Holy cow! I have soooo much stuff to tell this week and not very much time! So, firstly, my new companion is named Elder Stinocher. He is from Mesa, Arizona and he knows Ryan Reynolds. Ten of the new elders were from the US and 11 were from Brazil and so I guess all that praying really helped! Elder Stinocher is awesome! He loves the same kind of eclectic indie rock music as me, likes to snowboard and is a good worker. I stayed in the same apartment, same area. Elder Neal was transferred and Elder Villela got a new companion named Elder Burt from Utah. We are having a good óle time here! Being District leader is crazy too! I am responsible for 4 other missionaries and I have to know their investigators and help them out and train them on splits and give trainings every week at district meeting. Yikes! I´ve was praying a lot lately. Yes, there are not any sisters in our zone.

Andrés family is doing SOOO good! We had an awesome lesson about the Savior and Elza and Thayna are getting baptized this Saturday at 7:00. Elze is inviting people and talking about it and getting very excited! So elect! Yeah! There is another family of 3 (Fátima, Wendel and Rafiela) that could very well be baptized this Sunday. We have family night with them today and we´re doing it in the church by the baptismal font (hint hint..... get in the water!) Also, this last week we had the baptism of Rosemarina! (almost your name!) Elder Neal and I found her one day on divisions and she dropped everything and even paid tithing before being a member to get ready to be baptized! Her son came to church to see her baptism and agreed to be baptized next Sunday! Woo hoooo!! awesomeness!

I have heard about Cambé also. I ran into Elder lee in the bus station and he said they baptized Jaqueline finally and also Silvia! Maicon, the youth that we made great friends with got his mission call to Rio de Janeiro and Guilherme is preparing his papers!

We´ve been working our missionary butts off and Elder Stinocher thinks I walk to fast, but sometimes it’s just too exciting! This last week we had zone conference and President showed a video clip that really changed my attitude. He showed a clip from the Patriot when the US army is being crushed by the Britain’s. They start to turn and run away, but then Mel Gibson heroically charges all alone into enemy lines and rallies the troops on the victory. President put in captions like District Leader and Zone leader under the characters and the scene that touched my most was the district ‘screaming their heads off and running straight into the battle! President showed this to teach the importance of a good leader. This is exactly like missionary work and lately I´ve been starting the day screaming and running around like a dufus. YEaaaaahhhh!!! Batiiiismo!!! Dude, I´m totally Iron Man AND Mel Gibson! Take that devil! (and so humble :) ) It’s actually been pretty great lately. We´ve got a few more people with baptisms marked for 2 weeks and we´re going to make it happen! Also, it is really hot here.
Thank you a lot for the packages! The candy and also the orange tie in particular are awesome!

-With love,
Elder Markham

His companions outside of Bauru

Their Ward in Bauru

Bauru, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Hello mother!

Thank you very much for your e-mail!

Happy birthday to Lucy too! I hope you made a delicious cake and ate it with family and had good memories. I am very excited to hear about your new job and office. It looks super cool. Like some kind of high tech secret agent deal. Are you secretly working for the FBI? There is a guy in our ward who is a spy for the government. He is way cool and says funny things.

So, I have some super exciting news. Today are transfers and................. I´m going to be a Dad! I got a call yesterday and learned that we will have 21 new missionaries who will be arriving this transfer and I will be training one of them! I will be going to Londrina later today to find out who it is and I will come back here to Bauru tomorrow. I don´t feel super prepared, but please pray for me that I can do my best and help out the new missionary.

This last week we had 2 baptisms in the ward! I don´t have pictures unfortunately because I was playing prelude music while they were taking pictures. It was super cool. It was 2 people that Elder Neal and I found while the Zone leaders were gone. It is in the other area, but I got to teach them several times and we marked their baptisms! Super super cool! The baptism was super spiritual and they were so happy afterwards. We had a lot of new people in church and it was just a terrific day. Then afterwards I ate way too much at lunch. The kitchen was really small and I was trying to get up to get seconds and Irmã Christiane said, “Can I get it for you to make it easier?” I couldn´t be rude and say no and then she took my plate and put more food on it than 3 oxen could eat in a month and gave it back smiling. I said a quiet prayer to ask to expand my stomach and I managed to eat it all without barfing. Miracles are real! Aww, the mission is super great.

So, André´s family is doing really well and we have FHE with them tonight with the bishop’s family. The mom LOVES church and the daughter can´t sleep anymore without the Book of Mormon under her pillow. Batismo! Whoo hoo! Elder Crosbie was transferred to Maringá and it will be pretty exciting here. Like I said, I am pretty nervous, but God is in control and I´ll go where He wants me to go. I know that this church is true. I know God lives and guides us. I know we have living breathing prophets and that families can be together forever. One thing we have talked a lot about here is being enthusiastic. I would like to give the same advice to you. You are awesome and don’t let anybody convince you otherwise. I will pray for you and I know God will bless our family.
até mais!

-Elder Markham

Bauru, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

Hiya hiya hiya!
So, this week has been pretty good. With the help of a member from another ward we are teaching his entire family and they are super excited! He is named André and he has been a member for lots of time. Just now the rest of his family is getting interested and we are working with them. We had a family night with Elza (mom) Kelly (sister) Tainá (daughter) and Rodrigo (son). Rodrigo is 6 and waaaay funny. We did this activity and now he loves the missionaries and wants a game every time we teach a lesson! We have another family night tonight and Elza went to conference yesterday!

We almost baptized another person yesterday. On Friday we had a super spiritual lesson where we put the steps to heaven on the ground. Her sister had already been baptized a few months before and we had the rest of the family walk up to celestial kingdom and she (Christiane) had to stay on repentance. It really put things in perspective and after a while she just asked us if she could be baptized! The problem is the next day she got reeeaallly sick and couldn´t come to her interview. Then when we called back to check up on her she sounded upset and said she doesn´t want to be baptized anymore. We are going back there ASAP and hopefully we can resolve the issue. I think she is very close to baptism and somebody said something that scared her. The devil seems to work harder right before someone gets baptized. Pray for her and for us and I have faith that we´ll have good news next week!

Speaking of next week, it is transfers next week! It’s crazy to think that I´ve already been here in Bauru for a month. I still feel super new here, but it’s great. I think it’s a somewhat difficult area, but its gives a lot of room to grow.

I´m am so happy to hear all the good news from home. Your new medicine is working, you are starting your cool research job, Larry and Jennie got a house, the family went to Outback, man! Life is good. Thank you a lot for all your advice too. I´ve decided people are just hard to work with. Everything looks good on paper and then you have to cooperate with people and stuff goes crazy! We are trying a lot to involve the ward and it is having decent success. I just want to find out how to take it to the next level and really get some work done. This week we are going to make some super goals and do work. The only problem is that the LZ´s are going to Londrina for 3 days for some training. Oh well. Forward!

To answer your questions: Bishops name is Bispo da Paula. Conference was broadcast live. The problem is that we were only allowed to watch one session on Saturday IF we brought an investigator. I saw the Saturday morning and the two on Sunday. We couldn´t watch Priesthood because it was too late. My favorite talks were the one about to be vs. to do and also Elder Bednar about receiving revelation. Elder Holland gave a pretty cool talk too. A funny thing is that Elder Crosbie and Vilela heard Elder Scott´s marriage talk and now they are worried because they have to go home and get married! haha! I actually think it would be awesome if you could send me a copy of the Conference Ensign as soon as it comes out because it really takes forever to get them on the mission and I want to read the two sessions I missed. We had an ok turnout for Conference, but it could have been better. It rained a lot on Sunday and for some reason, if it rains here, the people just give up and don’t do anything, so I was a little hard to get people there. Oh well. Thank you for your letter! I like them to be long so please don’t apologize. I know Dad is closer than we think. I know God´s plan is real and I love the gospel. Thank you for all of your prayers and love. I couldn´t do it without you! Jesus lives and we have a prophet in our days. What more could we need?
Over and out;

-Elder Markham