El Salvador

El Salvador


Elder Garrett Markham
El Salvador San Salvador East Mission
PO Box #3362
San Salvador, El Salvador
Central America


Monday, December 15, 2014

Keeping busy and working hard!

Hey everyone!

This week was nuts! We had changes and I'm in the same area with my new companion Elder Lowry from Utah. He is known as the happiest guy in El Salvador haha. But since he just got out of working in the office for the past year and doesn't know the area at all, I'm pretty much the trainer right now doing all the planning and stuff.But it's been great because I've been able to work a ton harder! I'm exhausted every night from working super hard! I feel great right now!!!!

This week we had a zone conference. I guess everyone thinks I'm the strongest in the zone so they had me do the push ups for the atonement activity...if you don't know what that is let's just say I had to do about 50 plus more push ups after doing 100 that morning. It may not seem that much but I don't have tons of time to work out and I'm a bit out of shape so it was a lot for me! HAHA. Then we talked to this drunk guy on the street and he said that the world is his home and that he wants the wisdom of the mayans....I love the drunk guys.

My presents got here! I'm so happy! Only moms and dads though. I'm so grateful for it! I love it. and for Christmas it looks like 24th afternoon is when we will be skyping. I don't have tons of time but I love you all! 

Love Elder Markham

**Garrett is serving in Alta Vista, El Salvador 

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Chicken Stampede and a Sketchy Ice Cream Truck

Hey family! 

Not too much new going on this week...But first there is a small possibility that we might skype on the 24th. We aren't sure and I really don't know what's going on. But I'm just giving a heads up. I really hope it's the 25th! So i had some new foods this week. I finally had my first pumpkin pupusa...it wasn't quite the pumpkin pupusa I thought it would be. It just tasted like tortilla. Then I had some tres letches which was awesome! Just like moms except it had a cherry on top. I saw an ice cream truck for the first time...a very very sketchy ice cream truck. I wanted some ice cream because that annoying song was tempting me but I thought I might die if I ate that ice cream. So i didn't. I also almost got ran over by a middle aged chicken stampede. They weren't chicks but they weren't full grown yet so they also looked like dinosaurs. I also got two letters this week! Its so great to hear from the kids and they are sooooo funny!!!! It helps me so much!

Well I have to go but I love you all!

Love Elder Markham

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Two kids in a foreign land can change lives with the Gospel.


This week was awesome! I'm loving the mission every week! Saturday was my first baptism and it was awesome! The spirit was so strong and it was a very great experience. Of course the devil tried to stop the baptism and Osvaldos grandson that lives with him was super sick and was not doing well. But my companion and I gave him a blessing and when they showed up to the baptism it was like he was never sick! After the baptism we had Osvaldo give his testimony and it was amazing even though I couldn't understand too much...He talked about how he didn't have any words to describe the way he felt, and how amazing me and my comp are...he also talked about how we healed his grandson that morning so I guess I now have my own cool little story for that. During his testimony was when I really realized that this is what its all about and how amazing it is that two kids can go around in a foreign land helping others come unto Christ and Save their eternal salvation. Its amazing. 

The temperature isn't that bad anymore...the first few weeks was kind of like "Pure Luck"... Remember the scene where Martin Short is super uncomfortable when the guy is smoking in his face...that's kind of how I was because of the heat! It was killer! haha

I love you all so much. Have a great week everyone!!! 

Love Elder Markham

Garrett's first baptism...Osvaldo

The Zepeda Family...they are very good to Garrett and feed him well!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Learning Patience

Hey Everyone!

This week was awesome! I had such a great time and it's weird to think that it's almost been a month since I've been in El Salvador! 

I have learned so much in my personal study! This week I learned about having patience. Thomas S. Monson said that we will always have trials in our life and we need to be patient to get through them. It is always on the Lords time and they are always specific for each individual. This helped me so much. I love study time in the morning! This week is my first baptism for sure! The last one had to wait for just a little longer. But the man is Osvaldo like I talked about before. He is amazing and already has names of his parent and siblings to do temple work for and is sharing the Gospel with many people. He is a great example to me. I am so excited for this Saturday and its going to be a great experience! We had 11 investigators come to church this Sunday! It was a huge success! I hope that they felt the spirit and continue to want to come! We have a few more baptism dates for December! My Spanish is improving every week! Many people are saying that it's really good for the time I've been here so I guess that's good. But I still can't understand too much especially at church and when people talk a lot. But I can definitely understand and talk a lot more!

I miss you and love you all!!!

Love Elder Markham

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Learning Spanish...and just call him Colipoki

Hola Familia!

This week was great! We are teaching more people and got a few baptism dates. There are times where I feel like I can speak Spanish and other times where I feel like I can't. I can talk pretty well with my companion about gospel stuff and that's pretty cool. But during stake conference this week I didn't understand a single thing. But I can still talk with a few people about other things. I know its getting better and it just takes time. Tons of little kids are always asking me, how do you say this in English...how do you say this? it's funny. At times I forget my name because no one here can say Markham. Its marrcun. So my companion tells them its like bacon...don't ask why but it doesn't even help anyways. So most of the members just call me colipoki from the other side of heaven.I feel like a giant here too. Everyone points and likes to compare their height with mine.

This week we found more investigators! We now have 12 new ones! Its great! We are inviting our investigators to visit the temple with our president on December 20th!

I love you all and miss you!

Love Elder Markham
Garrett's teacher (in front) and his companion at the MTC

Sunset from the MTC in Mexico

Friday, November 14, 2014

Teaching the Gospel and BIG Spiders

Hey everyone! 

This week was great! Tons of stuff happening every day. People have been putting up Christmas stuff since the first week of November! So me and my companion got a little tree and some lights. Its great haha. 

We started teaching this man named Osvaldo and he is super awesome...even though I have no clue what he and my companion are saying. My companion tells me most of it after. The Spanish hasn't clicked yet so it makes it super stressful. I can pick up key words and stuff though. Anyway, we met this guy in the street last week and he said we can come teach him. We taught him the first lesson and it went great! Then we taught him the second time about Joseph Smith and he loved it. We had to watch the video on his laptop because his TV wasn't able to change to Spanish so the video was super quiet. During the movie his neighbor started blasting super loud music and we couldn't hear at all. I remembered learning about specific prayers in the MTC so I decided to say one. I asked that the music would stop so that the spirit could be there and just as I was finishing the prayer, the music stopped. It was so cool. Then right when the movie finished the music came back on! We asked if he could pray to find out if Joseph was a true prophet and he said yes. We all got on our knees and as he started to pray he started crying. Then he kept thanking God for sending us and for everything else. Afterwards he said that he knew he was a prophet. The third lesson I asked if he would be baptized and he's like yeah yeah of course...but can I teach these things to my religion class I teach? It's amazing the people the Lord prepares to hear the Gospel.

A few days ago I contacted about 9 people in one night. We had exchanges for a day and I went to a different area with an Elder from Nebraska. He is pretty new as well and as it got later in the night we didn't have much to do so we just contacted people. 

I saw my first Central America spider last night. It was huge! I asked my companion and two other members we were with if that was a spider because it didn't really look like a spider at all! They all said yes like it was nothing and how they get way bigger.

I miss you guys a ton and I love all your emails!
Love Elder Markham

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Finally in El Salvador!

Garrett and his mission President and wife: President and Sister Vasquez

Garrett and new missionaries arriving October 27th, 2014 El Salvador San Salvador East Mission
Hola familia! 

I have been here in El Salvador for a week now! I don't have a lot of time so I will be quick. Getting here has been a huge cultural shock for me. Its very different and hard to get used to living here. Most houses are about the size of our living room and the other houses are just tin shacks with dirt floors. But I am beginning to love it here. Mom and Dad really treated us like kings. The only problem I am having is with the language. If I can just learn the language then this whole mission will be easy. My mission president is awesome! I love him! So is my trainer Elder Custodio! 

During our lessons I can't say a whole lot because of my lack of vocab...I also have no clue what anyone is saying except for key gospel doctrinal words. But I can still teach just fine when my companion has me speak. The Natives really look like they are listening and nod their heads and the spirit is strong when I teach. I tried talking to a guy on the bus to see if we could come give him a lesson at his house. He just ignored me and kept looking forward. I asked if he could understand me and all he said was yes...

There's this family called the Zepeda family and they are always giving us food and stuff. Every other family owns a store in their house and the Zepeda family are one of those people. They are also bakers so they always give us bread and this really good juice that I love from their store for free! Its awesome and they are so kind. I think their baptism date is this Saturday. I invited these two investigators to be baptized the other day on our first visit and they said yes!!! It was great.

Real quick...here's my Christmas list... Nail clippers and tweezers; mine got stolen from my bag at the airport. Pepperoni sticks, krystal light packets, and anything else you want to send. I will try to think of other things. Probably not anything that I need to cook because we don't really have things to cook with. We have members cook for us and we pay them.

I miss you all so much! If Brock and Trevor have any advice for me on learning a language in the mission then that would be great. Thanks! 

Love Elder Markham

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Off to El Salvador!

Hola Family!

Since I leave Monday and I won't have a pday for a while I get to email you guys today! This week has felt like graduating school again. We took our district picture and stuff so mom should be getting an email of the slide show they do for all the missionaries that are leaving. Then on Friday we had a super long day of meetings for when we leave and stuff. And I finally got one of your letters! It was the one that you guys sent the day of conference. It was so great to hear from the kids! It made me laugh reading about how Charlie needed to go to the bathroom really bad on his way to the football game and how those two guys face masked him! How rude! Also it sounds like Blake is destroying on the field and making all those fools look bad! JJ sounds like you had a good time listening to GC and Aubrey and Areah are doing good in gym! I also loved the pic of the El Salvador Temple! I cant wait to go there! I also loved Dads pic of us playing catch together! Those letters made my day 10x better! 

I cant wait to go to El Salvador! Only two more days! I'm ready to get out there except for I feel that my Spanish needs a lot more help! We started packing our bags today. It finally seems real that I'm leaving. I hope you guys get this and write back soon! I love and miss you all! See you in El Salvador!!!

Love Elder Markham

Garrett is on the largest row far right

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stuck in the old elevator!

Holy Cow! I only have a week left here! Today is my last pday! Its awesome! I got my flight stuff yesterday and there's only two other missionaries riding the plane with me. I'm going to the east mission and the other two are going to the west Belize mission. Its nice because our flight leaves at about 4:30 pm on Monday which is perfect time! The rest of the people in my district leave at 2:30 in the morning on Monday and everyone else going to central America has to wait until Tuesday at 2:30 in the morning. We will probably leave the mtc at about 1:30. We take a lunch with us and we get dinner on the plane even though its two hours and 10 minutes. I am so excited and so nervous. I can do just fine when giving my testimony and talking about most people but I can't understand the natives when they talk at all! But I'll get used to it pretty quick. 

The other day when me and my companion were teaching one of our fake investigators during our lesson, she said that she was up all night with her sister in the hospital because she just had her baby. So through out the lesson she would pretend to fall asleep. I didn't like it but my companion loved it. Then we taught our other investigator. The lesson we were teaching was about the plan of salvation, but she had a question about baby baptism before we started and because of all the things I have learned here, I was able to open right up to Moroni chapter 8 and share it with her. I learned that my scripture study before my mission was really bad. So I have really tried to do better and look up certain questions that investigators might have and that was one of the topics I looked up. I really felt the spirit and it was awesome. Our fake investigators are also our teachers so afterwards she came up to me and really sincerely told me how good it was and that she really felt the spirit.

Yesterday was full of some cool stuff. First we were at our service time and we were helping get ready the bags for the new missionaries. We had to carry a bucket full of bags where they prepared them down the stairs to where they got stored. Brother Jones is in charge of a lot of things here and he said to use this elevator for the...experience...I looked at it and how old it looked. It was awesome and knew it would be fun! So my companion, Elder Worden and his companion all got in it. It was really cool because there were two doors you had to manually shut, then you would turn the light on and press the button. We made a few trips but on one of our last trips up, it stopped working and we were stuck in the elevator. The light was still on and there was a window that you could see out. Brother Jones came by and just looked at us as we started to smile and wave to him. He then tried to open the door but they didn't move so he had to call the security guys to come get us out. When they came they were all taking pics of us through the small window and when they got us out they wanted us to stand by the elevator and take more pics of us. Needless to say it was pretty fun and we were in there for about 30 minutes. Then last night we were practicing our farewell song for our last sacrament meeting and the beginning starts off with me and Elder Worden singing a duet. I don't know why they all wanted me to sing it but I think it sounds pretty good!

I'm glad to hear that you are all doing well and I cant wait to read your emails this week! I'm sad because the letters still haven't come. My next email will probably be from El Salvador! I love and miss you all! 

love Elder Markham

Garrett loves the food at the MTC while others don't...but he had this short story about it...it sounds like the cooks will be glad when he leaves for El Salvador so they don't have to fix so much food for him!

But I'm always going up to get seconds and sometimes thirds. Until one time I was getting my third or so and the cook looked at me, smiled and said, Elder Markham, when do you leave? I said two weeks and he said, good. While he was still smiling and gave me my food haha

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Finally a short city visit outside the walls

Hola mi Familia! 

I still haven't gotten your letters yet. I hope they all get here before I leave! Also, sorry for the late emailing. We didn't know until last Friday that we were going to the temple today. It was amazing and I will send lots of pictures! I got to see a lot of the city which was pretty cool! It is really different though! At every stop light people will walk through all of the parked cars asking if you want to buy something or if they can wash your windows. It was interesting...All the buildings are so packed together!!! I need my space. The temple was really cool but we couldn't go in because they are fixing some stuff so we just went into the visitors center and watched some videos and stuff. It was a great spiritual experience. They have a store there and I was able to get a really cool backpack for 15 dollars. Sunday was amazing too! We had some great lessons on the priesthood and being missionaries. I loved it and could feel the spirit so strong for the whole day. Its weird because I only have two more Sundays here! Last night a couple elders wanted some blessings in our district so I got to participate in them. 

I met a sister here from Hillsboro but I can't remember her name. She's in my zone actually! Then there's this guy here named Rocket Fuell. Yes his first name is Rocket and his last is Fuell. He's super nice too! He is always telling me good job while we play bball together. He will say stuff like, that was a Beautiful move! haha  He hurt his ankle\foot the other week and it was pretty gross but he's fine now. 

Love Always,
Elder Markham

** Side note:  I asked him if he got to taste any real city food and if his Sunday meetings are the same as we have here?

Garrett: We didn't stop anywhere. We had buses and went straight there. And yes the store was on temple grounds. Sundays are a little different. We have priesthood, district meeting, then sacrament, then after lunch we have a class then devotional, then after dinner we get a movie (spiritual church movies).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Learning, Eating and Sports!


This week was awesome! It was great to listen to general conference! I really missed the great food and breakfast and stuff but I was able to buy some yummy snacks at the store! Also, before the Sunday morning session we had a class with one of the Presidents here and he gave a great lesson on specific prayers which was pretty cool. It was about praying for super specific things and he shared some stories about people that had done that and it was awesome! 

The language is alright so far...I've been able to "practice teach" in Spanish without writing anything down which is really cool! I've been able to really feel the spirit and I know that the spirit is the one teaching the investigator and its telling me what to say. My brain really hurts right now because its beginning of the transition from English to Spanish so its really weird right now. I find my self writing or saying things in Spanish when I don't mean to and I roll all my letters sometimes without trying. It feels great! 

We had hamburgers the other day...or at least I think they were hamburgers...I miss Dads. They were the best! But the Mexican food here is GREAT! And the natives say that its terrible here and way better out in the city! I kinda wanna go try some. 

It sounds like everyone is doing great! That's what I like to hear!  Awesome!!! We have gym time here which is awesome to be able to go out and play different sports. I am sooooo close to dunking! I just need to hang on to the ball and soon Ill be throwing down! I'm also losing some weight. Even though I'm eating very well and I try to do push ups and other stuff in the morning. 

Love, Elder Markham

Elder Garrett Markham at the Mexico Missionary Training Center

What Garrett can see from the MTC grounds.  He says the "B" is for the high school of the city.

Missionary Training Center grounds.  Beautiful!

Garrett's missionary badge that he is required to wear throughout his mission

Garrett's dorm at the MTC

Mexico city stretches up the mountain outside of the MTC walls

The missionaries that are a part of Garrett's district at the MTC

Garrett on the right with Elder Warden from Arizona.  They have taught a couple of "practice" lessons in Spanish together at the MTC and have done well.

Garrett's sleeping quarters...obviously not military required bed making skills!

The only place they are allowed to drink the water!

Garrett says he would like to have this in his own yard some day

Garrett with other Elders of his district.  His companion on the far left (Elder Hacking)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Working hard but having fun!

Hi Family!

It was another great week here! I'm so happy that you all fasted for me to learn the language because its been pretty stressful and hard lately. And I have a few questions before I forget. What should I do about wet stinky shoes? And the pants that I got for my birthday, can I machine wash those? If I have more questions Ill ask you later.

I got the letters you guys sent from dear elder yesterday. I don't know why it took so long to get here because it said you sent them the day I got here. But it was really nice to read them! And for Brad the address to the MTC is 

Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No. 828, 
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg. G.A. Madero,
C.P. 07230, Mexico, D.F.; Mexico

Its been a crazy week and Ive had a lot of fun! The two Latinos that lived in our dorm left yesterday sadly. One of them was sooo funny. He barley spoke English so that made it even better. He always called his companion a noob and I asked where he got it from and he said he just heard it from Xbox. Sunday was awesome! We had fast and testimony meeting and I was the first to go in our Branch and it was pretty good. We fasted Saturday dinner and Sunday Breakfast so it was a little different. But the spirit was so strong. 

We had a crazy lightening storm the other day and it was raining HARD! Although I had my umbrella I still got pretty wet. And the power went out a couple times this week. There's also always fireworks going off up in the air here too. One of the members of our branch presidency said that there's lots of rumors but the most common one is that the Catholics here think they can open the gates of heaven by doing so. 

I loved your paper Brock! Its amazing! You've always been one of my heroes! I'm always telling people about my wonderful family. I just wish I had some pictures to show people. I'm getting pretty good at volleyball! Maybe Ill try out for BYUs volleyball team instead haha. People in my district challenged another district in a volleyball game later today so we will see how that goes. Its still kind of crazy that I'm on a mission right now...haha Its cool to here about the Halloween stuff! I cant wait to see what its like in El Salvador. Hopefully its not too weird. Saturday nights and a few other nights while I'm trying to sleep, it seems like the whole city of Mexico is having a party. There's lots of music and laughing and stuff. 

Its so good to hear from all of you! I love and miss you lots! 

Love Elder Markham

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Week in the MTC!

Hello everyone! 

First I'm just going to say that I'm having trouble with this computer. For some reason I cant save every ones address so mom will just have to send the emails to everyone to save time so that I can write more. I've already spent enough time trying to figure out the email system and why it isn't working. And to add on to that I have to use this loco Mexican keyboard that doesn't make any sense so I don't know how to us it. 

I'm having a great time here in the CCM, or MTC for all of you English speakers out there! P day for me will be on Tuesdays. The first few days were soooo long. The spirit is strong though. I have learned so much! I think I have learned more Spanish here in the last 4 days than I did all two years in high school. My Spanish is improving but it is still very stressful when I can't understand our fake investigator.  I have been working so hard mamma! You would be so proud of me. I have mastered saying my prayers and testimony in Spanish already! Although its a little limited. So Brock if you have any advise to learning a language in the mtc let me know!

I really wish I would have known that I would have a gym class everyday. Luckily I only had it two days last week so I was able to buy a pair of shorts and a really sweet Mexico mtc shirt here.  I need fresh clothes while schooling these young bloods on the bball court. Even though I'm one of the youngest here....

Mexico is truly beautiful. But I wouldn't suggest coming here for vacation or anything. The traffic was insane while riding the bus to the CCM. Brock and brad probably know what I'm talking about. Just picture our almost stop and go traffic there. But here they are still driving at about 30 to 40 mph and people are weaving in and out of lanes like crazy. The CCM is amazing because in the middle of this crazy city is this wonderful walled off area where there is a little under 1000 missionaries. Out side the walls you can see a few buildings. Then a little farther there are mountains with houses and other buildings that run up the mountains. All the buildings are so compact and stuff, I could never live here. If you want to know what it looks like, watch those action movies that take place in Mexico. It is the exact same. I will try to send pictures later when I can figure this computer and keyboard out a little better. 

The food here is awesome! Everyone usually complains about it for some reason but I love it! Although I would like a few of moms burritos instead. When you guys are around each other give some hugs for me. You don't know how much you miss giving each other hugs when you re on your mission. Some advice to JJ is to really know preach my gospel. You're already doing a great job at learning the scriptures and I wish I could have known as much as you before I left because I barely have anytime to study them because of all the homework and assignments they give us to learn Spanish and stuff. The same goes for you Blake. Know the scriptures and preach my gospel before your mission because if you have to learn a language you wont have anytime. When you guys think school is getting pretty busy, just wait until you get to the MTC. I thought my senior year was insane!

The natives here are so nice. I love them all! They do so much for us and are always smiling and so kind. We get to go to the Mexico mtc on one of our last weeks but we don't get to go inside because its under construction. Ive seen pictures of it and it is amazing!

Write back as soon as you guys can!  I love and miss you all! 
Love Elder Markham