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

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