Londrina September 26, 2011

Hiya Momma!
Thanks for the letter! I am glad things are going well. It sounds like great fun to be with the family and everything. I am a little grumpy because I just barely lost my camera. I think it fell out of my bag in the bus. Aw crud. Oh well. I already sent you most of the really good pictures and stuff is replaceable. I got Grandmas e-mail and it was pretty cool. I´ll write her back a little line! I´m glad it is still working out well to go to work and back without the car. Sharon sure can help you out too! So, this week was pretty ok, but not super great. We baptized twins! There was a family that was inactive because of a huge problem that had with some other ward members, but their two kids Gabriel and Gabriela (YIKES!) kept on going to church and were baptized last Wednesday! Hurray!

I got to go on a division with some great other Elders in Quebec and learned some cool new stuff. There was also baptized an investigator of the Sisters in Ibiporã. He is a great man named Carlos. I went there last week on a division and the Sisters asked us to pass by and give Carlos a blessing to stop smoking. We did so and the spirit was super strong and he promised to stop smoking and be baptized this week. And, he was! Miracles! Yeaah! The mission is having a little bit of trouble this month. There were a lot fewer baptisms than the past month and we need to work really hard to do better. DO you know any good motivator talks or quotes?

Today are transfers. I will remain in Ouro Branco as Assistant one more transfer with Elder Thiago! This is his last transfer in the mission and so it is possible I will stay the next transfer as well to train the new assistant. Vamos ver. It is pretty cool, just that I get super super tired. Maybe I should buy some vitamins or something for energy. Elder Flake is leaving our house and Elder Teucher is arriving. He is pretty cool. Tomorrow we will get to receive all the new missionaries in the airport which is always fun! Yeah the Gospel! I am excited for Conference. Yes I got to listen just fine to conference on the MP3 Player. Thank you for sending it!

Well, I love you a whole bunch. I am praying always for you and the family. I know Families can be together forever. Life is just a test. I´ve learned to have a perspective a little bit different about life. When you spend all day talking about eternal life and atonement and heaven you start to notice how silly some of the things we worry about are. If we are faithful to the commandments God will bless us with what we need and the rest just doesn’t matter. The important is family, Christ and love. I know Christ lives and loves us. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that we have living prophets here on the earth today.
Love you a whole ton!
-love Elder Markham

Londrina September 19, 2011

Hello Mother!

I am so glad that you are alright! That is scary that you had a car accident, but I am super happy that you and nobody else were hurt. I love you a whole lot and I don’t want anything to happen to you! I am certain that God has a great plan for each of us and that we are in His hands. Thank you for sharing your miracle story with me. I always pray for you and Sharon every night. Us Markhams do have to make our mark on the city! Haha!

Yesterday I met one of Dad´s companions from the mission! I am super mad that I didn’t have my camera with me, but I got his address and telephone number! His name is Flávio Cordeiro. I was on a division with the secretaries in 1st Ward and I was calling all of the members to go say hello to some investigators that were there when he said Elder Markham? Did your dad serve a mission in Portugal? He remembered the name and knew that we were related. Crazy! I talked to him for a little bit and he said Dad was a really good Elder. Too bad I didn’t have lots of time talk with him, but I will for sure call him later!

First all to answer your questions: Elder Stinocher is in Zone Cascavel (which means rattlesnake!) and baptized 3 people last week! Foz means falls. Foz do Iguaçu means Iguaçu Falls because of the waterfalls. Our mission has 158 missionaries and 11 zones. That is why we are traveling all of the time! It is quite a lot. This month is being really difficult for our mission. We need to pray for a huge miracle this week to meet our goals and not slip backwards. This last week was very difficult as well. I did a division in Londrina and literally wore out my orthopedics. I have to go get new ones today. haha! Sometimes I guess we have to go through hard things so that God can teach us what we need to know. I have been enjoying reading the Book of Mormon a lot this week. If you are not reading daily I challenge you to start now! I am also super excited for conference general. It should be quite good.

Please tell Grandpa Happy Birthday for me and give him a huge hug and tell him I love him. I feel bad that I haven´t been able to write letters to anybody lately. Not Grandpa or Ryan or Jessica or anybody, but this is the first P-day that I´ve had this month! Haha! I enjoy being assistant, but sometimes it is a whole lot of stress and tiredness. But I wasn´t kidding when I said I´d wear myself out for the Lord! Hurrah for Israel! Whoohoo!

I would just like to bear my testimony that I know that this church is true. I testify that God calls prophets in our times and that the Holy Spirit will always guide us if we let him. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is convincing evidence to all that Jesus is the Christ and what we need to do to be happy. I love you so much and I am so happy that you are safe and sound!
Until later days!
-Elder Markham

Zona Foz e Cascavel

Yes! There is lots of Water.


Elder Markham with President and Sister Tarvares

Photo for the National Geographic

More pictures of the Falls

Elder Stinocher and Steven (he trained Elder Stinocher in Bauru)

Elder Markham in front of the falls

Cataratas (Falls)

Beauty Clark

Londrina September 12, 2011

Bom dia!
Thank you for the letter. Once again my letter will need to be fast. These past weeks have been super crazy! I am in the mission office and I have a meeting with president in just a little. So, last week I wrote you from the laptop of Sister Tavares as we were driving to Foz. It is 6 hours by car and it was very cramped, but good. On P-day we went to the waterfalls with 2 zones and it was super crazy awesome. I attached a lot of pictures that I hope you will like. I found out that we would be going the night before about 10:15 so it was pretty exiting packing my bags and everything in 15 min. The waterfalls were incredible; really really awesome. We´ll have to go sometime.

After that we worked in Foz do Iguaçu the whole week. On Tuesday Elder R. Santos and I worked in the area of the Zone leaders while they were in interviews with President. We found 3 people who could be baptized this week and helped a woman stop smoking. She will most likely be baptized this week. We worked in Foz Portal the next day and I found another person that Elder Ayres and I found like 2 months ago when we were here and she was baptized last Saturday. Her son is already a member and her husband and other son are preparing to be baptized this week! Yeah! Sadly I wasn´t able to watch her baptism because we were doing baptismal interviews in another area so I don’t have any pictures :( Oh well.

We worked in another area called Itapúa which is the largest manmade lake in the world. The area is really huge with lots of dirt roads and it was raining a ton so it was pretty awesome. There was a thunderstorm so strong while we were there that it was rattling our windows and setting off car alarms and stuff. We all thought it was like the 2nd coming or something but then it ended and it was all good. In spite of the rain we were able to help a couple pass the baptismal interview and they will be baptized Tuesday probably! Yeah baptism! Iguaçu is a great city. It is kind of poor and stuff, but the people are really great. I would love to be called to work there.

To end the week we caught a bus at noon. It is 9 1/2 hours by bus and I was very happy to arrive in Londrina again. So, that was about it!
More details to come next week!
-Elder Markham

Londrina September 5, 2011

Hello Mother!
My e-mail will be super short this week because I am in the car with President right now going to Foz. Today I will get to go to the waterfalls! WHOO HOOO! I'll send some great pictures next week.

This week we had a baptism in our ward to help complete a family!!! We are planning a bunch of awesome stuff and I am super excited and great. One more time, please don’t worry about me. God is watching over me and you as well. Please give a hug to Sharon and apologize for not writing her yet. I will try send a better e-mail is I have time after the waterfalls, but no promises. I will write a spectacular e-mail next week. I love you so very much!
I know that God loves us. I know that the plan of Salvation covers all ends. I know that we have a living prophet. I testify that this gospel is true.
Até mais!
-Elder Markham