Londrina, July 18, 2011

Hiya Mommie!
This week has been super super crazy, but an opportunity to learn a lot. To begin with, thank you for your letter! That is so awesome that Ryan is out in the field, Nils is doing well, Joe também and everybody else! I really have been blessed with terrific friends. All of them are out on missions and doing great. Sharon seems to be doing really well also. She me sent a scripture in her last e-mail which I really liked! EFY will be fun for her too!
So, the leadership conference went really well. It is not zone conference, it is only for the Zone leaders to receive trainings and talk about the difficuldades in their zones. It went really really well! Elder Ayres and I gave a training sobre being fishers of men: how to improve efficiency in the work. Everybody seemed to like the conference and I learned a lot too. Starting tomorrow we will have normal zone conferences which are just like the ones you described. Here we have them every 3 months. This means I will be traveling a whole ton this week. I will go to Bauru, Londrina, Maringá and Foz do Iguaçu. Minha nossa! ( My goodness) It should be an adventure. So, Tuesday was leadership conference, Wednesday we spent in the office all day preparing trainings and stuff, Thursday Elder Thiago got really sick and had to stay in (he is better now!), Friday was normal and Saturday was crazy. Sadly, one of the duties of the assistants is to correct problems when missionaries do silly things. Saturday President sent me to an area to remove a missionary who was causing severe problems. It is sad when Elders choose not to take the mission seriously, but it was also an opportunity to learn more about leadership. I stayed there Saturday and Sunday and we had a baptism on Sunday! It was a really great moment. It was a daughter (Vitória) of a less-active member. When the daughter heard the lessons she had a strong desire to be baptized and lead her family to return to activity. She was baptized and now the mom is coming back to church and her brother is preparing to receive the priesthood next week! Sadly, I forgot my camera and so I don’t have any pictures... My bad! That was basically my week.
The days seriously fly by so fast I can’t keep track! To answer your other questions, Elder Ayres companion is from Texas and is named Elder Dewey. He is super funny. I get to work with him every once in a while, but mostly not. I kind of just don’t have a steady companion because I´m always doing divisions with everybody.
About our house, no, it is nowhere near big enough for 6 Elders. There is just one problem. We don’t have 6 Elders in our house. We have 8! 2 people have to sleep on the floor every night and so we trade off. The other funny thing is that 2 Elders in our house talk in their sleep and lately they have been practicing the lessons with each other while they are sleeping. It is actually really really funny. `snor, and I testify that Joseph was a prophet. Snor`´ ´snor God commanded Adam...´´ haha! And then Elder Ayres who is a really light sleeper gets mad and wakes everyone up and starts throwing pillows and stuff. I just laugh. The secretaries are the ones who take care of the house.
Thank you so much for everything! I would just like to end today bearing my testimony. I know that the gospel is completely true. I know that the power of the sacerdócio (priesthood) is real and that we can see true miracles when we believe. I know that anything is possible for God and that everything He does is for our good. I know that our family will be together forever and that Dad will be here to help us. Please don’t get discouraged. Life is hard, but also good. As long as we are progressing and learning and improving I guess that has to be enough! I love you all! Give a good ól hurrah for Israel back there in Provo will ya?
-Elder Markham

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