Londrina June 20, 2011

Oh coisa boa!
Hello mother! How are you? Thank you so much for the updates. I´m glad that you have had such great opportunities to be with family and go to salt lake and work and everything. It sounds like things really are going well despite the challenges of life! Thanks for the letter from Jeff. Vision is really an important thing. One of my favorite scriptures is in Helaman 5:19 that talks about our vision. We need to plan and see things through our eyes of spirituality first and then advance in faith and do miracles. That’s cool that ya´ll got to go to the Jex reunion as well! My letter time lately has been rather cut or better, non-existent.... As an assistant we kind of don’t really have P-day anymore. It’s great! Today for example I have been wearing the same clothes for 3 days and I just got off a 9 hour bus ride in Foz do Iguaçu which is almost in Paraguay. Adventures demais!
So, backing up a little bit. First off to answer your questions. Elder Dewey and Santana are the Zone Leaders in our ward back in Londrina. They help us to take care of our investigators while we are traveling. It’s great. They live in the same apartment as us and it is sort of close to the mission office, but not really. We don’t have any couple missionaries in the mission and I don’t really know why. It’s actually the zone leaders who are more responsible for getting letters and things. We help a little every once in a while. So, this last week was crazy/awesome/crawesome.
After the baptism of José we worked with all of those member references and we found 3 whole families who accepted baptism! We found in total 27 new investigators in 2 days! Miracles are real! We worked with them and this guy named Jonni who got baptized yesterday! I don’t have any photos because we weren’t there, but he is super cool. He stopped smoking in 1 day after receiving a blessing and then his whole family who is like Baptist or something came over while the ZLs were there and started bible bashing and Jonni just stood up and bore testimony about the church and shut them up. He is awesome! We found this other woman Manoelita who had several dreams about the church and will be baptized next week and threw away like 10 pounds of coffee after her 2nd lesson. Whoohoo! There is another family of 6 who loved hearing about the programs of the church and their 22 year old son Adam started reading the Book of Mormon and it is helping cure his depression. There is another family of 4 who has a daughter named veronica who reminds me of Sharon and they all went to church yesterday without us even being there! Super Eleitos! So, things are going super good in Ala Antares.
This next part you have to get on to Google maps to understand the craziness! On Friday Presidente sent us to Maringá because they were having super hard times bringing people to church. We worked with the Zone leaders there and on Sunday we broke the churches attendance record by 30. The ward is trying to have enough people to build a nice chapel there and so they were super happy and we also had 2 baptisms after church! Sunday night we took home a missionary who was serving a short term mission (he is awesome) so that he could get his real calling. His mom made us hamburgers (mmmmmmmmm :) ) and then we ran to the bus station at midnight to catch a bus to Foz do Iguaçu. We will be staying here for the entire week with the goal of every companionship in the zone baptizing this week. We will be doing lots of divisions and working and praying hard.
The mission is having a super hard time this month. Last month we ended with 104 baptisms, and this month with only one week left we have about 50. We are trying to think a lot about what we can do to help out the mission.
He will probably be transferred in two weeks and I might have to train a new assistant. Mostly I just feel super inadequate and alone. What advices to you have for having more faith and being a better leader? I love you all a whole bunch. I am finally sending some pictures so I hope you enjoy! I testify that this church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and that the gospel will lead us to exaltation. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I wish I understood better its message. I know Dad loves you a lot Mom and he is right here with us to help us out. I am praying a lot for you guys. Have a great week and write back soon!
Um abraço.
-Elder Markham

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