Elder Markham outside the chapel in Cascavel

Elder Markham and ?

Elder Markham with Joao, Nilva, Larissa, and Fernando and ?

Elder Markham and ?

Elder Markham and ?

Elder Markham and ?

Elder Sepulveda and ?

Elder Sepulveda and Elder Markham (sorry I don't recogize the other two Elders)

Cascavel May 28, 2012

Captains log, Stardate 28 de maio 2012
Thank you so much for the letters. You have always been such a great font of counsel and support for me. It is really a strange feeling right now. I get really happy and then really sad from one minute to the other. This past week was really crazy. We started off doing a division in a small city called Palotina to do some more baptismal interviews. We got back running like crazy people and divided with all the members we could to teach tons of messages with members. Then on Friday we had to go back to Palotina for another interview because the first one didn’t pass! We ran back (it is 3 hours by bus to Palotina) and taught the family of Joao, Nilva, Larissa and Fernando. They are a super special family. They weren’t baptized yet, but it is just a matter of time. Last night we had a super spiritual lesson with them and I told them I was leaving. Everybody was crying and they are just so good. I will talk with them on Facebook and for sure hear about their baptism.

We said goodbye to another awesome couple named Donizete and Tuane that are just waiting to get married to get baptized and the Sisters baptized and young man that we had been teaching named Victor. It was really great. Also, just as a side note we worked so much that we ranked second place in the mission in that championship thing I told about last week, even with one pair of sisters sick and 2 visits to Palotina. Not to brag, but just that it felt good to work really hard!
So, I´m all packed up and just waiting now. I don´t have too much more to say, but I am very excited to see ya´ll. The assistants gave permission to be trunky now, so.... já era!

I am so thankful for the chance I had to serve this mission. If I ever had any doubt, which I don’t think I did, but if so it is gone now.  This is the Church of Christ. This is the true gospel. There is so much evil in this world, but there is a force so much more powerful. Miracles happen, people change, and the work will go forward. I know this church is true and the Book of Mormon is too. Most importantly I know that families are forever.
I love you so much.
Signing out
Elder Markham

Nilva, Larissa and Joao

Larissa and family, plus Elder Markham and Elder Sepulveda

Elder Sepulveda is crazy

Cascavel May 21, 2012

May 21, 2012
Hello! How are ya´ll?
Thank you very greatly for your letter! That is some exciting news that we got a new stake presidency Presidente Maw huh? Legal. I think maybe I know Pres. Gagan but I´m not sure. Thank you for the letters from Ryan and Nils. Its way fun to hear about what happening with them. I can believe that Joe got in a motorcycle wreck. Here in Brazil there are approximately 1.789 billion motorcycle wrecks per hour. For example just yesterday we were walking in the road and a motorist speed past us. The road curved ahead and apparently he didn’t notice the large and brightly colored building in front of him. Fortunately he wasn´t hurt, but the wall has a nice helmet mark now. Crazy, crazy people. I´m glad Sharon will graduate as well. I will be praying for her a lot and I will try to help her out. Mission accepted. That is also very neat about the Provo temple. Elder Holland is a little crazy and also very awesome. It will be fun to go there when it is done.

So this week has been exciting. This week we started a little game between Foz and Cascavel and things are pretty excited. Everybody is working hard to teach more and bring people to church. One of the things that counts the most is lessons with the members and so this week we combined with the Bishop, ward mission leader and 4 young men who are almost leaving on missions and we managed to teach 30 lesson with member! This was great seeing as how the mission average is 6. We are excited to do it again. We are teaching some really great people and working very hard. We had the blessing of having a baptism Saturday. Larissa is a girl the sisters were teaching a little while ago and decided to be baptized. The baptismal service proved to me that the church is true because of the following story. Because it was a young woman being baptized the girls in the ward prepared a special musical number. Summing things up it was VERY special, if you know what I mean. Then Bishop passed this reeeaaaaalllllly old church movie were the actor for Jesus was cross eyed and looked crazy. I thought it was a disaster, but the whole family felt the spirit really strongly and the whole family of 6 went to church yesterday (* see below for other funny story) and are preparing to be baptized soon! Bishop is getting really excited and called a bunch of ward missionaries. Bishop is really funny. He kept joking with us about how he wants to take seriously Pres. Hinckley talk about Raise the Bar, or ´´Raise the bar´´ and have to call Obama to send in an airstrike to destroy the bar that sits in front of the church.

*Funny story: So, when the whole family went to church actually at first it was just 4 of them. The little sister got embarrassed and the 18 year old named Wagner (who has an awesome Mohawk) didn’t get out of bed. So we drove over to their house and their aunt let us in to almost literally drag Wagner out of bed. He was a little grumpy at the moment, but then he just made friends with all the young men in the ward and 8 of them went over to his house after church to play video games. Integration: Check!

We are working hard to baptize a lot of people from incomplete families and help the ward grow. Also since we had to switch houses with the sisters I got a nice surprise this morning when I was cleaning the bathroom and got to find all the girl hair in the shower drain. BAHHH HUMBUG! But other than that, things are just good! Today I´m gunna buy some stuff, eat said stuff and then have a great P-day!

In fine, I love you very much mother. Thanks for being such a great mom and always giving me such a good example. I really owe a lot to you and Dad. Good luck with graduation and stuff! I know that Jesus is the Christ. His plan makes it possilble for all to be saved. I know God loves us and watches over us. I know the Book of Mormon has great power. I know our family is forever.

´Till later!

-Elder Iron Markham

Leadership Meeting Londrina May 8, 2012

Cascavel May 14, 2012

Hello mommy oh mother of mine!
Once more, Happy Mother’s day! It was really great to talk with you as well. I didn´t really know all that much to say, but it was great just to see ya´ll.
So, here is what happened this week:
Last Monday was P-day and we had to leave early to go to Londrina for the leadership counsel. We pretty much just sat on the bus all day and got there about 9:30 at night. Cascavel is pretty far away! Tuesday we had the meeting and it was really great. We learned about Real growth and how to help our investigators gain a testimony through prayer and the Book of Mormon. We learned some great skills that are helping lots of people. I also had to give my last testimony at the counsel and that was super weird. President always has the people ending their mission give their testimony at zone conference or leadership counsel. After that we knocked some doors in Londrina and taught a few people.
The next day we got to go back to Cascavel with President in his HiLux which was pretty neat. ITs always fun to talk with President and Sister. We got back kind of late as well and helped a woman unload a bunch of bricks to her house and then taught a few of our investigators. There is a young kid named Vitor who is going to be baptized soon. Unfortunately he wasn´t baptized yet because his sister got really sick and went to the hospital so let’s pray for him. On Thursday we had interviews with President that lasted basically all day, but it was really good. Then on Friday President called at like 6:45 and told us that he was going to switch our area with the Sisters because their house had allergy problems and it was an area a little dangerous for sisters. So we spent all morning packing and running our stuff over to the new house and then at 3:00 I had to catch a bus to a small city called Palotina. The area has been open for about 2 weeks and the Elders had a baptismal interview marked for that night. I went there with E. C. Silva while E. Sepúlveda unpacked our stuff. We got there a little bit early and decided to visit a family that are strong members of the church and have two adoptive daughter named Lorrana and Yianca who weren´t members. They had been going to church for a long time, but didn’t have an answer yet. We went there and taught a little bit and then knelt and prayed with everybody. The spirit was very strong and they both felt an answer. We challenged them to come with us to the baptismal interview and they both passed and were baptized Saturday afternoon! A huge miracle! I don’t have any pictures because I had to get back on the bus before the baptism, but I´ll try to get some.
Saturday we had a meeting with bishop and found some great new people in our area.  There is a girl named Larissa who will probably be baptized this Saturday. We are pretty excited. Sunday church was great and I got to play piano in sacrament meeting which was fun. Then we went on divisions with Bishop and that kid named Willer that was with us when we were on the Skype. It was really fun. This week has just been really crazy! Thank goodness today is P-day. I will sleep a little bit. Thank you so much for the letter and the love and everything. I´m am excited to keep on working real hard these last 2 weeks. I hope I can do some good here.
I know this church is true. I know the priesthood has real power and the Holy Ghost can speak to us if we are worthy. I know Christ lives and that families can be together forever. 
I love you so much! Thank you for everything you have done for me and for the family!
Never give up! Never Surrender!
-Elder Iron Markham  

Cascavel May 7, 2012

Bom dia!

Thanks for the updates and the great questions. I´ll try to start by answering them on this not Spanish keyboard this time:
So on Mother’s day that would be just fine to talk at 2:00. I´m pretty sure we´ll be able to talk for 40 minutes so it´ll be good. I´ll get the skype code things from your other e-mail. That’s neat that it´ll be Dad’s birthday. I´ll have to remember to celebrate a tiny bit. We don’t really have all that much time but it´ll be good. So Cascavel has been pretty good this week. We worked really hard and I´m super destroyed tired right now, but we were able to bring 2 families to church and mark 4 baptisms for next week. We are pretty excited! Pray for our investigators to stay strong! 

Cascavel is actually a very German influenced city. It is pretty cold here and I´ve had to sleep with covers a few days now. Especially when it rains it gets pretty cold. There are a lot of tall white people here and so I don’t feel tooo out of place. Actually yesterday I convinced some people that I was Brazilian with lots of German roots. haha! It is really about 100% different than Foz. Here is a pretty wealthy city kind of like Maringá. There are several colleges here including the ever famous FAG University, which I find terrible funny. The ward here is suuupper new and a lot of real work has actually been trying to help Bishop put things in order. When I think about our ward I get really amazed by how well things actually work! You learn a lot on the mission! 

So Elder Sepulveda and I are still zone leaders. That’s cool that his name is sort of famous. There is a famous Politian name Sepulveda and everybody asks him if he is related. Also everybody here is talking a ton about Mitt Romney. Funny how great an impact the USA has on the world. Our zone has 12 missionaries including 4 Sisters and so that is interesting. One poor sister got bit by a dog this week and has to get vaccines. Ouch! We are pretty isolated because it is about 7 hours from Londrina. The church here is kind of strong, but there are only 3 chapels for a city of 300,000 so there is room to grow! 

About holidays, yes there are a ton of holidays in Brazil. It is a very catholic country and so there are a whole bunch of Saint Days. Nobody really knows who those people were but all like the holiday! Today we have to leave in a little bit for leadership counsel in Londrina so I get to pass my whole P-day in the bus. Yeah!! That’s pretty awesome sweet about the new Provo Temple. I´ll be excited to see it done! Who knows we’ll get to go to the dedication? I am also really happy to hear that Zack is doing well. How is Tyrel? Is he doing well all married and stuff? And Joe and Jeff? Seen any of them lately? 

So, that’s about it for this week. I´m excited to talk a little bit on Mother’s day and for the baptisms the Lord has blessed us with. I know that this is the true church of God. Sacrifice really does bring forth the blessings of heaven. I know that our Father in Heaven lives and loves us. We may not understand everything in this life, but we can know Christ overcame all suffering. I love you lots! Until Sunday!
-Elder Iron Markham

P.S. Cool side note, I found out the Guilherme is doing super well on the mission. He has about 6 months and has already baptized more than 20 people. Woohoo!