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

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