Elder Garrett Markham
El Salvador San Salvador East Mission
PO Box #3362
San Salvador, El Salvador
Thursday, July 21, 2016
We had changes this week! I'm still here in Apopa and will be finishing my mission here. My companion is Elder Nelson. He's from Arizona and he's a great guy! He has about 16 months in the mission or so. I saw Aldo Twalking through the street. Actually he saw me. We were walking down the street when I heard someone calling us, I turned around and saw Aldo running around the corner yelling my name. It was so funny! I ran over to give him a hug and we talked a little bit. I told him that I'm going home next month so he has to come to church to see me off. Hopefully it will help him go to church. Aldo is the guy I was going to do the pupusa eating competition with. He said he'll come right before I leave. That night his mom was in Apopa staying with her brother when she called us up to go by her house and pick up some doughnuts that she brought us. She gave us a huge bag of doughnuts that she made! She's so sweet.
Fernando went to church with us again yesterday. We are going to have his interview tomorrow and his baptism will be S. HIS STORY IS AWESOME! So his brother and grandma got baptized a little while ago but he never went to church or anything like that. He never really cared much about anything. We struggled so hard to get him to go to church. We finally did a few weeks ago. After he finally went with us we visited him a couple days later and he said that he had a dream...In his dream he was facing a black wall. There were also two black walls to his sides. He said he heard a voice behind him that said, follow me. It surprised him and he tried to turn around to see who it was but he couldn't. When he was finally able to turn there was nobody there. He told us that he knew it was Jesus calling him. Ever since then he's been a lot happier and excited to learn more and go to church and to get baptized! And now that their mom has seen the changes in both her sons, she also wants to learn more and go to church! Before she never wanted anything to do with the church but it's because when the missionaries taught her husband a long time ago they never paid much attention to her. But now it's her time to receive the gospel and join the family at church!
Belinda also went to church. She goes to the other ward. She is 11 years old and the ward says that she can get baptized if she can keep going to church by herself. Her parents are members but are inactive and no one from the ward can go get her because it's too dangerous. But if she goes to church one or two more times she'll get baptized!
Everything else is going good for now. We have a few more people that are preparing to get baptized. But I'll have to tell you more next week! I love and miss you all!
Love Elder Markham
Monday, July 11, 2016
Well it's my last change! I'm staying here in Apopa and my companion is going to a pretty far place. I'm excited to see who my new companion will be and what we can accomplish. We finished this change off with Wendy's baptism. It was also super spiritual because there was an activity for the young single adult group so when it was time for her service they all came in to support her! She was also able to bring her family that aren't members. Her uncle wants to learn more but he lives a little far so we are going to get his direction to the other missionaries.
President Vasquez is coming out with some new plans to help the wards and stakes. One of them is a way to help families that haven't been sealed, get sealed in the temple. We visited a family, the Vaquerano family, with the bishopric last Sunday. The daughter wants to go on a mission real bad so she's been going to church by herself for 4 years. Everyone else has been inactive since then. But after the visit we talked to the family and they said they felt so special and important to the ward. They spent the whole week preparing to go to church. They even introduced us to a few of their friends that they have been helping. Yesterday they all went to church together! They were all so happy! They said that they had felt the spirit so strong that day and know that this is what they need to do. SO a little about their friend. He has a very hard situation. His whole family left him to go to the United States and he has lots of problems with drinking and smoking. He loves the Vaquerano family so much and says that they pretty much adopted him. He's always there with them so it's easy to find him. He's been helping with their house that they are working on. But he wants to change his life around for the example that they have set for him. His name is Carlos. I know that with the help of Jesus Christ he will be able to stop drinking and smoking and turn his whole life around.
Here's a quick funny story with Carlos this week. So we saw some people that were carrying an entertainment center to their house. Carlos was helping them and it was huge so we decided to help. When we got to the house we quickly realized that it wasn't going to fit. We tried every way that we could but it was useless. The problem was that there were stairs right at the door way going up. So it was impossible to get it in. We stood there staring and thinking what we could do when Carlos suggested that we just brake down the stairs with a sledge hammer and a chisel. But before the owner could even say anything Carlos was already ripping them apart. By the time he was done there was a huge mess of bricks everywhere! After a couple hours we finally got it in and helped clean the bricks up a bit.
I love you so much and cant wait to talk to you!
Love Elder Markham
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Also, something I didn't tell in my letter but we visited a man this week who has had a blood cancer that wasn't too great. When we got to his house he was in a coma. We sang a hymn and watched him take his last breathes. It helped me understand the Plan of Salvation better and I know that we will all be resurrected after this life. I'm so happy for my eternal family. I have to go! I love you all soo much!!!! Talk to you next week!
Happy fourth of July!!!!! With my companion we spent all morning listening to the few patriotic hymns on my flash drive. Then as all the Latinos called us for something I would say to them, HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!! But they didn't really care hahaah.
Well this week was great! Wendy passed her interview to get baptized! We also wanted to help Belinda, who's 11, get baptized but she will have to wait a few more weeks. But Wendy has really gone through lots of stuff but I know that becoming a member of the church of Christ will be a huge blessing for her.
Yesterday we had an awesome sacrament meeting. The testimonies from the members were all so strong. This is my first ward here where once the bishop gives the time to the members to share the testimony, half the members run up to fill the stand. There were lots of great testimonies about the Savior. Which helped us so much because we were finally able to help a teenager named Fernando get to church. All his brothers and grandma are members. He just hasn't ever gone to church because he's never really been too animated (I think Garrett meant to say "excited" here...he can't remember the correct English words) to go. But afterwards we talked to him and asked how he liked it and he says it was great and wants to come back next week! He says he also wants to get baptized the!
I just want to share my testimony of the Savior that I know He lives. He is my friend and my brother. He is my redeemer. He gave His life for me so that I could live again. He knows how I feel during my sufferings because He suffered every pain of each and everyone of us. In the mission He has changed my life. I have felt the power of His atoning sacrifice. My sins have been washed through His blood. During my time here, He has walked beside me, testified with me and has never abandoned me. He is the way to the eternal life. And for His sacrifice I will be able to live again with my family in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I love Him and I know He loves me and I share this in His sacred name. Amen.
I love and miss you all so much! Talk to you next week!
Love Elder Markham
**This is something that Garrett shared in his personal letter to me that I wanted to share with all who reads his blog. I'm so grateful for the experiences that he is having...and that he is being changed for good in many ways, and that these experiences bring him a greater love for his family and a knowledge that he will be with us forever.
Love Elder Markham