Foz do Iguacu October 31, 2011

Hello Mother! This week has been crazy wild! I´ve been doing some stuff for the zone and so I will have to be brief in my letter today. To answer your questions: Elder Folland is from Bountiful, UT, he stayed in California waiting a visa, We live with 2 other Elders (Braga e Fonseca) there are 12 Missionaries in our Zone we travel by bus to visit them yes, and once a week. It feels good to stay in one place all week. We have got some pretty great families to work with. There is one family of Josmar and Lucia that went to church with us and loved it. Also a man and his son Robert and Romulo went to church and loved it! We are also teaching a family from Paraguay that speaks more Spanish and Guaraní than Portuguese. This is interesting, but there are several members that speak well and they help us out. Foz makes a stake with another city called Cascavel. The church is reasonably strong here. The people in Foz are way different because they live on the border and there is lots of tourism and people from other countries. It is pretty crazy here some times and I love it. We had a nice awesome Brazilian rain storm on Saturday that flooded parts of the city and ripped off a part of our roof. It was pretty exciting saving our things from the water! Everything is all good now. It was just pretty crazy at the time. I am glad everyone is doing well back at home. Send my best wishes to everybody and I promise to write a better letter (ha that rhymed!) next week. Tell Sharon congrats about her band. They had better be good. :) I know that Christ lives and loves us. I know that the resurrection is real. I know that we have a living prophet to guide us in these latter days. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Até mais! Love you! -Elder Markham Also the food here is really good.

Elder Folland with President and Sister Travares

Foz do Iguacu October 24, 2011

I only have one word to describe what happened this week: WHAAAAAAAAAATTTT?????!!!!
So, this week started off pretty normal, we went up to São Paulo to have Zone conference with Marília, Bauru and Presidente Prudente. It was pretty good and stuff. We also worked a lot with José Carlos and family. In truth we had a baptism as well. A man named Hernando. He has 20 years and he is the boyfriend of a member. He will go on a mission probably! Hooraay! The baptism was really great. Then after that we went to São Paulo. It was fun to ride in the car with President because we got to talk about cool stuff like Kolob and eternal progression and other cool stuff! We had a family night with some recent converts and investigators and it was pretty darn great. We had lots of good food as well.

Then came the surprise:
Thursday: President called us into the office because there was a new American missionary arriving here in Brazil. He got his Visa and Salt Lake sent him all of a sudden to us here in the mission. We went there and had interviews with President and like I said, I had already meio que said that I was a little tired of being assistant and stuff and that it would be cool to do something else. President said, “You will not be assistant forever, but for the time being you are still.” We continued the interview a little bit and then he said all of a sudden smiling broadly, “now you can be done being assistant. We need a new trainer for the new missionary and we also need a new Zone leader in Foz do Iguaçu. Pack up, you´re leaving tomorrow!” So right now I am writing to you as a new Trainer/Zone Leader in ala Porto Meira, Foz do Iguaçu. Whaaaa??? I am suuuper happy and excited for this new calling. My new son is named Elder Folland. He is from Bountiful, Utah and he is super awesome. He speaks really good Portuguese and has a great desire to work hard. After he arrived we packed up our stuff and got on the bus. Poor kid, he had just gotten off 25 hours of airports and airplanes and had to get on the bus for another 11 hours! We got here at midnight of Friday and started work on Saturday. We found 2 whole families, one with 3 people and the other with 6 and everybody went to church with us yesterday and loved it. The ward here is super great and awesome! Everyone got super excited to have new missionaries and lots of investigators and we will probably have lots of baptisms this week and the next! Whoo hoo! Things are going really great even though Foz is suuuuper hot! Yeah!!!! (fist pump)
So back to you guys, Congrats on passing your driver’s test! That is so great. I knew you would do well. It runs in the family huh? That’s too bad that your night life got cramped up. Don’t worry, when I return we´ll hit the streets big time. Haha. Also I got your package! Thank you sooooo very much! President was super happy about the root beer extract and I gave him a tie. Sister Tavares looved the book and the movie and sends much love and thanks to you! Thank you for the camera and everything. It will help a lot. The mail strike is only affecting small stuff like normal letters and things so don’t worry about spending lots of money of fedex. I will pray for our neighbors. God really does do miracles and will help us all. I love you so very much! I know God lives and loves us. I testify that this gospel is true. Our families can and will be together forever!
avante guerreiros do Sião!!!!
-Elder Iron Markham
P.S. Hugs and kisses (ONLY TO MOM AND SHARON!)

Maico's Baptism

Family Night

Elder Costa, Elder Flake, Elder Thiago, Elder Sergio, Elder Valiati, Elder Espirito Santo, Elder Markham


Baptism of Giovanna

Londrina October 17, 2011

Bom dia!
Como vai tudo lá em Provo?
Thank you so very much for your letter. It is always good to have positive reinforcement! So, B-day.... It didn´t exactly go how we wanted it to, but it did have several good effects. The mission whole had about 48 baptisms planned for the weekend, but sadly only 24 were baptized and confirmed. The excellent thing is that 24 PEOPLE WERE BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!! Whoo hoo!!! And almost all of the others are now preparing for this week and so there will be many more baptisms this week. Everyone got pretty excited and there were some cool miracles that happened.

Here in my ward we baptized 2 people one named Giovanna who is the daughter of an inactive family of 5 that has come back to church now. Also a boy named Maicol. He is super excited and his Dad and Brother are preparing to be baptized this coming week! We had 13 investigators at church which was great! 5 of them are planning to be baptized this week or next! Yeah! One is a family of 3 with Maria, Juninho and Kawani! They loved church and are super excited. We also had Junior, Denise and Adalto. Adalto is 33 and came to church on his birthday. Afterwards he had a party and sent his friend out on his motorcycle to find the Elderes because he didn’t want them to sing happy birthday without “os Mormones!” haha! They are with a few doubts still, but let’s pray for them to accept the gospel soon. There were a few funny stories that happened this week. First, I had to calm down a crazy argument in Sunday school when the poor old teacher tried to teach about marriage and said that you can be sealed to more than one person. Technically he is right, but you kind of have to explain these things the right way... haha!

Elder Thiago and I both got sick from eating so much cake. So, we had the baptism of Giovanna on Saturday and her mom made this suuuuper good cake with condensed milk. Then we had the baptism of Maicol on Sunday and at lunch afterwards. Sister Vilma made a suuuuuper good chocolate cake. Then we visited a less active family who had a birthday on Saturday and they gave me a piece of cream cake. Elder Thiago didn´t eat any because he said he was full from lunch. I said to him; just eat it because you don’t know the next chance we will have to eat cake. He thought for a minute and then said ok. The next house we visited was the house of Maicol and his mom made a suuuuuper good cake of brigadeiro. When she asked if we wanted any I said sure and Elder Thiago said no. I said to him; just eat it because you don’t know the next chance we will have to eat cake. He thought for a minute and then said ok. Then a few hours later when we were walking in the road the friend of Adalto found us and told us about the birthday party and we went there. They had a suuuuuper good cake of Maracujá and I ate a ton. Elder Thiago said no. I said to him, just eat it because you don’t know the next chance we will have to eat cake. He ate some and said, Elder Markham if you say that again I will kill you. So, in all it was a pretty good day. Here we invite others to come unto Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end of the cake.

Also it has been raining every single day this week and all my clothes are wet because dryers don’t exist here and ... things don’t dry in the rain. haha! Só água!

We had Zone conference with Londrina last Friday and I gave a training about getting member references and planning right. We also sang a song in 4 parts with me, Elder Dewey and two sisters. It was pretty cool. Tomorrow I will travel para São Paulo to have another Zone conference. It should be pretty alright.
Sooó na viiiida boa!

Thank for the news. I hope Grandpa is doing well with the loss. Please tell him I love him a whole bunch. The postmen are on strike here in Brazil and so anything I write won’t get to you and I haven´t received and letters for a long time. So please just tell Grandpa for me would be easier. That’s cool that Jenna is engaged! Just have to get Justin engaged now. HAha!
I would appreciate the Ensign written, although it will probably demorar muito,(take at long time), but I don’t think it necessary to send the audio. I don’t have a lot of time to listen to things.

I love you so very much Momma! You really are such a great example to me. Thank you for all the wonderful things you do. Good luck on your driving test! Don’t crash! I will pray for you and Sharon.
I add my witness to those of the past, that Christ lives, Joseph Smith was a prophet. This is the true church. The Book of Mormon is 100% true. The priesthood has great power. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. Our family can be together forever.
What else matters?
Onward Christian Soldiers!
-Elder Markham

Londrina October 10, 2011

Hiya Momma!

Thank you one more time for the letter this week! Right now I am in the office because we have to prepare our training for zone conference tomorrow. That´s cool that you were born on the anniversary of D-Day. B-day will be super cool. Batismo! Send me a picture of the car. I wanna see if it got all fixed up right. Did the insurance cover all of the damage? Anyhow, the important thing is that you are safe and sound. For sure the priesthood is real and has great power to help and protect us. Good luck on your driver’s test.

Speaking of driving how is the truck? Does anybody ever use it or is it dead? Also remember to turn off the water before it gets super cold. I wish it were super cold here. This last week we traveled to Presidente Prudente to work there with the Zone leaders. We gave another training about the B-day and everybody got super excited. The only problem is that it was super super hot. Like 110 all day long. whoo! Snow please!

We had 3 baptisms this weekend which was good. Vamos conseguir mais! Whoo! Sorry about the lack of pictures.... haha. We got new cell phones this week in the mission. They are super nice! They are 3G and have texting and lots of awesome stuff. Most of it is blocked, but it is still pretty useful and it’s always fun to get new toys. In our home ward this week we have a bunch of people who are preparing to be baptized this week. There are several men named Adalto, Aberico, and Maycon and also the family of Alberico, Denise e Junior. This week should be really great! If you want you can send me the Ensign with the conference talks. Thank you very much for everything you do. Oh, the other thing is that I have to sing in the zone conference so that will be interesting as well. I know that this is the true church of Christ. I know that obedience brings power and the Holy Ghost can be our guide. I will be praying for you every day!
Love you Mommy!
-Elder Markham

Londrina October 3, 2011

Hiya Mother!

Thank you so very much for your letter to me. It really helped a lot. Thanks so very much for the advice about prizes and motivation and such. This week has been super hard for the mission. I know that numbers and statistics are not the determining factor, but they ARE the result of dedicated work and by and large reflect how the missionaries feel about the work. If the Elders don´t baptize often, they get depressed, tired, and stressed and this makes it more likely to break rules and do silly things. Also, every number that appears in our records represents one more child of God that is making progress towards eternal life. For this reason we keep careful track of numbers statistics and records. It is true that they cannot be the determining factor, but when used correctly they amplify our vision and our work. I´m not sure why, but the Elders right now are having lots of trouble in finding and teaching investigators.

This week did a huge craziness to help out the excitement in our mission. Until now we have visited 8 of the 11 zones in the mission with President and given a special training called B-Day. It is based on the attack of D-day in world war two, the day that moved the course of the world. Our ´´D-day´´ our B-day (baptism day) will be October 16 and we have the goal of EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY baptize on this day! It will be one of the greatest and largest accomplishments of our mission! In the training we compared our mission to a war against sin in which we have strategies, weapons and defenses. Things such as the Book of Mormon (atomic bomb) and the armor of God to resist depression. At the end we had everyone give a shout if they accepted and right at the moment when everybody was most excited President Tavares ran into the room yelling and waving the Standard of Liberty that we made for our mission! It was super great and everybody got really excited. This month should be the craziest and best month Mission Brazil Londrina has ever seen! Tomorrow we have the leadership counsel and we will be going to Foz and Cascavel to finish the tour of the mission. Should be pretty great!

I really enjoyed conference as well. My favorite talks were like you said, Elder Cook about ´´look up´´. I felt he was really talking to me and teaching how to be happier. I also liked the Talk about teaching be the spirit and the story of how the man helped his 8 year old daughter to climb to the top of the mountain. I forgot the name of the 70, but I also loved the talk about the Book of Mormon. Holy Cow it was powerful. I liked how he said, there is no middle ground. Jesus Christ could not have been simply a great teacher. He was either the literal Son of God, or the biggest imposter in the world; The same thing about the Book of Mormon. It is the very word of God, and a proof that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true church, or it is a huge hoax and everything is a lie. I testify that Jesus is the Son of God. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that this church is the church of God. Period.

I also saw Guilherme again in the conference. He will leave Nov 10 and so there is definitely not time for the package to get here, but I gave him the tie I was wearing, that cool orange on you sent! Haha! He is doing super great. Hurray for the gospel!
That’s lousy about the driver’s test! I will pray for you and good luck! Just remember the biggest rule of driving: Don´t hit things! I´m sure you will do great. Speaking of unseasonably hot, here in Londrina it was 110 this last week! Holy Cow! IT is supposed to get hotter too. Oh boy. Summer again.... Brazil is just kind of like that. Really hot! I guess we´ll all just have to baptize more so the water will keep us cool! That is neat that some of my friends are getting back from the mission now. It’s crazy to think about how much time has passed since my mission began.

I talked to the man who served with Dad again yesterday and he will give me some pictures he has of Dad. Neat huh? Also it was the coolest when they announced the new temple in Provo. I was with President and he had been talking of the drive there about how everyone thought they were going to announce a new temple in Brazil, and after I was teasing about how now there will be 2 temples IN MY CITY! hahaha! Oh well, this is very exciting.

Well, I hope you all have a terrific week. I love you very much mother and I pray for you every day. Thank you for your love. It speaks way louder than any words. One of my favorite quotes is: “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary use words.” You have always been such a strong example to me. Just keep up the good work and keep on smiling. I know that God and Christ live. I know the Atonement is infinite. I love the gospel and I love you guys!
Till later days!
-Elder Markham