Marani e familia

Leido, Leocadio and Elder Markham

Elder Van Orden, Fernanda, Gabriel, Fernando, and Elder Markham

Christina, Alex, Elder Markham and Fatima

Bishop, Elder Markham and Arthur

Antonio, Maria, Elder Markham, and Larisse

Cascavel April 30, 2012

Hello! Hello! Hello!
Firstly: This keyboard is in Spanish and doesn´t have a question mark button.
Secondly> Wow have I got a lot of news for you!
So first off> Elder Cook: Wow!!

On Saturday at 4:30 in the morning we got on the bus a journey to Londrina. I was actually kind of nervous because I had to play piano and sing in front of Elder Cook. We sat down there one hour early and I was practicing and playing some prelude and in general just being nervous. Then all of a sudden we just felt something different about the building. Everyone started looking around and in a few minutes entered President Tavares, Elder Cook, Elder Whitney L. Clayton, and Elder Godoy. It was the strangest thing because the moment I saw him I just felt happiness and love and I didn’t even feel nervous anymore. We all stood up as he came in and he just smiled and waved at us and said ´´oh sit down sit down!´´ He came up and shook everyone’s hand and thanked me for the prelude. His wife is really nice too! I was literally sitting right next to them at the piano and she was just telling me what hymns to play and being happy. I didn’t feel even the least bit nervous and was able to play everything just right. We heard some wonderful talks about Real Growth and how to baptize and reactivate more people. We talked about the power of the Book of Mormon and prayer, ward counsels, and a ton of other great things. I think Elder Clayton will be an apostle. He´s the man.

At the end Elder Cook stood up again. He said that he would like to bear his testimony and leave an apostolic blessing with us. He blessed us that we could always remember how much God loves us. He blessed us that we could understand the atonement. He told us that many of us had passed for many hard things in life, and also many of us had made big mistakes in the past, but he said that Christ literally paid for all of that and the Holy Ghost is a purifying agent. If we can have the spirit with us we can be completely forgiven and all of those bad things will fade into the past. There was not a person in the room that was not crying. It was a very special experience that I will not easily forget. 

So, moving on: I got transferred. Sad! Actually awesome, but I will really miss Mandacaru. Before being transferred I visited everybody we had taught. The Parents of Peterson and Larisse have decided to come back to church and they also won a new house! Angela and Margarete got a cute little puppy from Admilson. Alex, Rosimeire and Mario are going to be sealed in the temple this July! Christina is helping her mom come back to church and is super happy. Michelle helped Angela get a job and Mirani and all the kids love the church. Fernando was baptized yesterday and they will go to the temple next year! Their son is Gabriel and he has 3 years and is completely obsessed with Iron man **coincidence. I think not!**. We managed to bring the church attendance up by 40 and the church authorized a new chapel in Mandacaru. YEEHAA!!!!  Man, I really miss everybody there already, but oh well. We can dream about going back right. 

I was transferred to Ward Coqueiral in the city of Cascavel. Funny enough, they only city in the mission that I hadn´t visited yet. Now I can say that I´ve been everywhere! My new companion is Elder Sepúlveda from Piaui Brasil. He is way cool. Here in Cascavel it is really cold! I Love it!! Yesterday it was 45 degrees! It was sooooooooooo good! Everyone was looking at me crazy because they were dying of cold and I was running around in short sleeves. So, we are already teaching some good families. One went to church yesterday and wants to get married to be baptized! Another guy from Paraguay went to church too and will be baptized probably this Saturday or Sunday. The ward is brand new and only has 5 months and so things are a little crazy, but it will be good. 

So, rapping things up: That’s some cool beans news about home! I am so glad Sharon is doing well. I got her graduation announcement! Craziness!!! I´ll be excited to see the new bathroom as well. That’s awesome that Joy got married and Sharla is engaged! The Lord really blessed us with that scholarship! Can things get any better? Also, if you get a chance tell Jessica that I got her letter yesterday and I am suuuper stoked that her brothers are going to Brazil!!! I would write her back but I think that I´ll get there before my letter, so just pass it on. 

I know that Christ lives and love us. I know more than ever that this church is led by living prophets and Apostles. I know the book of Mormon is true. I love this work and I love ya´ll a whole kilo ton. I think I´ll just go outside and yell Gloria halleluiah!

Love, Elder Iron Man

Talent Show (A Great Success!)

Os Caros

District Meeting

McDonalds in Maringa

Gauchos Everywhere

Daniel and Israel

Maringa and Photo of Area below

Celso and Elder Jarman

Service Project

Hard Core Cowboys

Americans drink lots of milk

Elder Van Orden's Birthday

Fernanda and Fernando and child

Elder Markham, Fernanda, Fernando, Elder Van Orden

Family Search

Maringa April 23, 2012

Hello mother!
Thank ya kindly for the letter! I always love to hear from you for sure.
I´m glad that Sharon is doing better from the surgery.  I pray for you often and that things will go well at home. Speaking of McDonalds, there is a McDonalds here in Maringá and we ate there the other day and I remembered how bad McDonalds is! It sounds like things are still roaring back in Provo. You should send me some pictures! 

So this week was pretty sweet. We worked pretty normal for most of the time but in the middle of the week it started raining tons. There was a huge tempest here in Maringá that tore up a whole bunch of trees and knocked out power and stuff. I always think that storms are kind of cool. The ward had a talent show on Friday that it didn’t go to, but I saw some videos and it was really, really funny! The ward is getting pretty excited and lots of people and starting to come back to church that haven’t been in a while. 

Saturday was Elder Van Orden’s birthday and we celebrated by buying him cake and pizza and then hiding in the dark and trying to scare the wits out of him when he entered in the house. It was pretty fun :) Another funny story is that the night of the huge storm our door broke and we couldn’t get it to open up. E. Van Orden and I got there first and we had to crawl in through the window and then E. Moroni got there and SWAT team kicked our door open. Opps. It was pretty funny though. 

Then we had the best part of the week. As you can see from the pictures Fernanda agreed to be baptized this week! Yeah! They are super crazy elects and they are sooo cool!!  We had their interview Saturday night and in the middle a tree fell and took out the power and so that was an adventure and we had to get candles to continue and it was pretty funny. Fernanda said she had been looking for something like this her whole life and felt that it was the right thing the first lesson that she heard. Fernando in preparing to be baptized this Sunday! They are totally going to go to the temple and get all sealed together! Yeah! Sooooo Cool!! On Sunday night they invited us over for dinner and we ate cow’s tail. I don’t know why everybody is giving us weird cow parts lately, but it was actually pretty darn good! Cow ankle marrow is not good. 

So, I´m not sure about transfers yet because we will all get transferred on Saturday at the apostle meeting, but maybe I will stay here. Probably will cuz Bishop made me get up and give my going away testimony in sacrament meeting, so that means I´ll probably stay here. haha!! So, that’s about it from this end. Any questions just write to my secretary, which is me. 

I know that the gospel saves lives. I know that families can be together forever. I know Christ lived and died and lived again just for us. I know we have a living prophet whom we can trust and follow. His truth is marching on! Glory, Glory Hallelujah!
-Elder Markham  

Margarete and Angela

Baptism of Margarete

Elder Markham and Elder Jarman

Maringa April 16, 2012

Bom dia from Maringá!
So, yeah! This week was pretty good!
P-day was good, we just had to go to the foot doctor again and watch Elder Van Orden get his toenails yanked! Then that night we had another sad story. Our district leader had some complications with depression medication that he was taking and woke up not knowing who he was or anybody else and going crazy. He talked with President after and ended up having to go home. That was kind of crappy.

Then we kept on working normal and it rained quite a bit this week. That is nice because it cools things down quite a bit, although it is still quite hot! On P-day I had some extra money and so I bought shrimp! It was really bad poor quality, but I liked eating shrimp. And speaking of crazy food, I had to eat something seriously nasty-squire yesterday! Irmã Aldenira is from way up north in Brazil where they eat something called Mokotó which is boiled bone marrow from the ankle of a bull. I only have two words to describe it:  ´´Wow its really bad!´´  Of course we told her it was great and so she made us eat some more and then I ate a whole bunch of ice cream to get the taste out and Elder Van Orden almost barfed. I didn´t take pictures because my camera was out of batteries. Dang it! 

Also this week was real great because we had the baptism of Margarete! Margarete is the daughter of Angela who was baptized 2 weeks ago. She was really shy, but Elder Valiati came from Londrina to do divisions with the other zone and I called him up and asked him to come with us. He is basically like the Mormon Justin Bieber that can’t sing and he helped her to not be so shy and get baptized and now the Ward is helping her get integrated with all the other girls in the ward. Yeah!! The service was really nice and she is really happy and I even made a cake and people liked it! One Sister asked: did you make this out of a box? I said nope! She said: no this has to be from a box (because here they have boxes with ready cake mix in them). Nope! I didn´t make it out of a box. She was impressed! (I actually made it out of a plastic sack cake mix that is really the same thing, but totally wasn´t a box cake!!! Haha!) 
Fernando and Fernanda are progressing really well! It’s actually been a little hard to teach them just because they are really busy, but I have great faith that they will be baptized real soon! They are awesome. To answer your perguntas: I said that I would probably be leaving in a week or two because transfers are one week from Wednesday and I´ve been here for 3 transfers and Elder Van Orden will be terminating his mission on the same day as me, so President probably won’t leave us both here until the end. It seems probable that I will be transferred. Sad! Elder Cook will be coming on April 28 and it will be a conference with the entire mission. Sweet! I was asked to participate in a special quartet to sing at the conference. That should be cool demais!   

I know that this church is true. The work is going really well here and the ward is excited. I know that this is the work of god and that nothing can stop it. I know that the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph was a prophet. Even more important I know that Christ lives and that the plan of salvation is real and that our family can be together forever.   Just keep on being a good example. I´ve learned that who we are is waaaay more important than what we do, so when you don’t know what to do, just live the gospel and things will turn out alright.   
I love you a whole bunches and..... ready for this?...
See you soon! Ahhh!
-Elder Iron Man

Maringa April 9, 2012

Hello wonderful Mommy!
What a crazy week for ya´ll! I hope Sharon is getting better fast from her surgery! Surgery mustn’t be very fun. That kind of cool that the house will be all spiffy! We just have to look at the bright side that we have the chance to remodel. And I´ve already forgot what a dishwasher is! Nobody has a dishwasher here. It isn´t a question of money but not even rich people have them. Just nobody likes them here. I´ve got real, real good at doing the dishes! That’s neat that Lindsay getting married! Send some pictures and stuff!

So, this week went by really, really fast. Last P-day we left early to go to Londrina for leadership council. It was real good and stuff. Then on our way back we stopped in Cia Norte, a small city in our zone to help out a little bit. I got to meet some cool people and there will be probably 5 baptisms there in the coming weeks! One is an awesome family that just needs to get married. Then we came back and had district meeting and worked normal. I was a little rough because of the Easter holiday and it rained a whole ton, but we had one huge miracle! We have been teaching an awesome family named Fernando and Fernanda and we went there with our Ward mission leader and taught the plan of salvation. They liked it so much and everybody was crying and stuff. They went to church with us and discovered that they know a whole bunch of the members here. Fernando said that when he was sitting in the Gospel Principles class and the teacher said that the priesthood was restored by Joseph Smith he said all his hair stood on end. They are both super elect and really like iron man as well! They accepted baptismal dates and are going suuuuuper good! What and awesome family. I will really miss this ward. I told Bishop that I would probably be leaving in a week or two and he gave me his awesome tie clip. Then I got to give a talk in church about the resurrection and the meeting was really nice. We even had a great attendance even with Easter and rain! Since I got here with Elder Proulx church attendance has risen from 80 to 110 and they authorized the construction of a chapel in our area! The Lord is really blessing the work here! I also learned today that this month we will be visited by Elder Quentin L. Cook! I will have the chance to sing in a quartet to do a special musical number there. Cool! I´ve never met an apostle! We are pretty excited! So, that’s about it! Oh, the rabbits came back! Silly Rabbits! Houses are for missionaries!

Presto testemunho da realidade da ressurreição. Sei que Cristo vive. Que no terçeiro dia ele levantou da tomba e trouxe vida ao mundo. Sei que nossa familia foiselada pela autoridade do santo sacerdócio e que nenhum força terrena pode quebrar esse convênio. Sei que o Livro de Mormon é verdadeiro e que somos abençoados por ter profetas e apostolos vivos em nossos dias. Não proseguiremos em tão grande uma causa? Manda um abraço pra tudo mundo aí! Te amo muito! Amor, Elder Homen de Ferro

{Rosemary’s Translation: (Steven speaks much better Portuguese than I do Spanish)
I bear witness to the reality of the resurrection. I know that Christ lives. On the third day he rose from the tomb and brought life to the world. I know our family was sealed by the authority of the holy priesthood and that no earthly power can break that covenant. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and we are blessed to have living prophets and apostles today. Should we not carry on in so great a cause? Send a hug to the entire world there! Love you a lot! Love, Elder Iron Man}

Maringa April 2, 2012

Wow this was like the most trunky e-mail day ever! The office sent me my flight plans and I got my BYU schedule. Whoops!

I guess we´ll just have to baptize some people to forget! Yup. so..... How are ya? That’s great to hear that things seem to be chipper and spry back at home. Is the house all fixed up yet? One thing I miss a little bit is carpet. I think that carpet hasn’t been invented here yet. But I will miss the showers here. The hot water never runs out! Never! So thank you very much for the help with registering as well. Those seem like good classes. And I´ll have a little bit of time to think things over still when I get back.

Exactly when do classes start?
So Mirani and Angela are doing well. We are probably going to baptize Margarete, Angela’s daughter this week. Mirani and Valter came to conference with us and Valter really liked Elder Holland. The funniest thing that happened was that Elder Richard G. Scott Does his own translation because he speaks Spanish and a little Portuguese. So he records his talk beforehand and it plays back during his talk. But for some reason this recording finished about 2 minutes before his actual talk and so the translation ended and he just kept speaking English and Pastor Valter got all excited because he thought that he was speaking in tongues. I sort of died laughing.

The rest of this week was kind of slow. We are having trouble finding new people, but last night we found and awesome couple who are friends of members and have tons of possibility. Their names are Fernando and Fernanda which is also very cool.
Elder Van Orden suffered this week from ingrown toenails and had to have a mini surgery to get them taken out. Ouch! They didn’t even used anesthetic! Also there is some kind of virus here in Maringá that everyone is getting and a lot of members and investigators have been sick this week. Oh well. Today we will be going to
Londrina for leadership council again and that should be real great. I am forwarding my flight itinerary to you and so you can know when to pick me up and not have an RM situation. Elder Van Orden will be flying to Saint George and I thought, dang! I should have said to land in Provo. Do you think that would fly? (Ha! Play on words!) But just joking.

I really enjoyed conference as well. My favorites were E. Hallstrom about the church and the gospel, E. Holland about envy and Pres. Eyring about the work of God. I want to hear the priesthood session still because it was only shown 9-11 o clock and we couldn´t watch it.

I have been praying for you and I know the Lord is watching over us. I know that church is true and that the gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. I know God lives and loves us and that the plan of salvation is real. I like Pres. Monson´s talk because it helps us know that our family will be forever. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true.
Till later days!
-Elder Iron Man