Londrina July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!! Yeah! In celebration today I ate a subway sandwich. Yes they have Subway here in Londrina.

So, this week was crazy! Let’s start with last Monday. After my last e-mail we went home and I slept a whole ton. Then we taught some peeps that night. We are working with several families really great here in Londrina, the only problem is that we don’t get to stay here very much. Tuesday morning we went to the airport to pick up a new missionary that had just barely arrived here in Brazil. On our way to the airport we noted that all of the grass had frost on it, which was crazy! I like the cold here better than the heat. Afterwards we had a meeting with president and decided a bunch of stuff. We organized a series of training meetings with president for the week and had meetings with all of the Zone leaders to practice teaching skills. We had a phone conference with everybody later in the meeting and found out that Bauru was having lots of troubles. That night President sent us back to Bauru! Yeah!

We started working there with all of the missionaries in the Zone and we were able to elevate the baptisms and lessons by a whole ton. The cool thing is that I got to work in Independência again! We found and reactivated a whole family less-actives. They had 8 people in the family and 1 who wasn´t baptized yet. Everybody went to church and the ward was super happy and we baptized the son Marcos after the meeting. It is a complete miracle! Hurrah! The Lord has really been blessing us with a lot of success and miracles. We found 3 other people there in Bauru who were baptized by the other missionaries there! Elder Ayres served in the same ward and we had the opportunity to visit all the people that he and I worked with and it was super-great! I visited Elza and Thayná and Bispo and everybody and it was so great!

This is something cool about getting to travel around the mission. I may be able to visit some other areas that I have already been! I got back here in Londrina about an hour about. Ai yai. Sooo tired, but life is sooo gooood!

Today is transfers and so I have to stay here in the office and help president all day probably. The surprise of the week is that President will call 2 more APs to help out. My new companion will be Elder Thiago who will arrive from Foz do Iguaçu later tonight. With 4 assistants it should probably be a lot easier to manage everything :)

So, about ya´ll. Please send some great pictures of the 4th of July! Family and food are super great so please have a wonderful time and tell everyone how much I love them. Thank you for your advice as well. We are trying to do all of those things you put on the list, and ultimately, it is up to the Ward and the person to stay strong. I talked with President about this same thing and he gave a scripture that really explains a lot. D&C 40:1-3. If a person has faith, repents and desires to be baptized than it is their time. We never know what God has planned and as long as we are following the spirit everything will turn out.

I know that God lives and loves us. I know that the Church is true and that Baptism is the door to the celestial kingdom. I know that my testimony is growing a lot every day and that stress and problems are generally part of the growing process. I love you very much and I will continue praying for you every day. Happy Fourth of July!

With love,
Elder Markham

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