Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Anyone who gets this email please call Mom or Dad and tell them to read this email!

I'm not flying today.

I can't travel home today because my passport isn't here. It's still coming from São Paulo. Remember when I was saying how there was that problem with my visa, and they were wanting to throw me out of the country? Well, to resolve the problem, the mission had to send my passport to São Paulo. And the passport hasn't arrived yet. They sent it last Friday, and we were hoping that it would get here today, but it will only get here tomorrow. So, currently, the office Elders are getting me another ticket for tomorrow. For right now, I'm not sure when I'll be flying home. The earliest will be tomorrow. But it depends on when they're able to get me a ticket, and when my passport arrives.

There's no need to worry. I'll be home soon. Just not tomorrow :) We're working everything out on our end, and as soon the new ticket is issued, the mission is going to inform everyone. President said I could email today because I wasn't able to email yesterday. Right now it's just the waiting game. Don't freak out and start calling the Missionary Department, haha. Everything will work out, and we'll inform you as soon as we know about what's going on. Just wait for a call from the office, or maybe an email, I'm not sure what it'll be.

I'm fine, and happy, although a little bit fatter :) It's just a few more days, and after 2 years, a few days doesn't make much of a difference, right? ;)

Well, by the time you get this email the office will have called you already.

So this makes my email rather pointless, but I'll send it anyway haha :)

Love you all!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another week!

Well, this week was filled of some very amazing moments! Elder Bednar came to our mission and talked to us, and then had a conference with all the members here in Teresina. Us missionaries who were here in Teresina were also able to see the meeting.

I learned some very great things about preaching the gospel. It was a very amazing conference us missionaries had with him. The entire mission was here in Teresina.

Because all the missionaries were here, the Elders who are in Açailândia now brought news to me about the family we baptized there. I had an amazing sensation as I heard from this family and the difference that I made in their lives. I'm nobody special, and I'm just a common missionary, but the Spirit of the Lord has changed their lives forever, and I'm very grateful to have been a part of it.

I can't really describe this sensation that I felt, but it was a profound happiness that made me feel the bond that I have with this family. Even though I'm seperated from this family by hundreds of miles (soon to be thousands) I felt close to them, feeling the same happiness that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ brings them, and knowing that I was a part of it strengthened this feeling, that much more!

Well, time is short as always, but this week it seemed to be that much shorter. Until next week!

Elder Rackham

Monday, November 7, 2011

Elder Bednar

Elder Bednar is coming to Teresina! We're going to have a meeting with him and then he's going to have a meeting with all the members here in Teresina. I'm very excited because it's going to be the first time that I will personally hear from an Apostle!

Elder Bednar sent President Dias two talks that he gave, one in General Conference, and one in a training to the Church Education System to prepare us for his visit. That means he must have some great insights for us. One of the talks was Ask with Faith. It was really great to read. I imagine that faith will be a big topic.

We have no idea what the meeting is going to be like. Elder Bednar has it all planned out. We're going to show up, and then we're going to learn from him. Other than that, we don't know. He might call on certain missionaries to talk briefly about something. He might ask President or Sister Dias to do the same. We really don't know. It makes it more exciting this way! :)

Anyway, gotta run!

Elder Rackham

Monday, October 31, 2011


I hate holidays on Mondays. Today was a surprise holiday here in Teresina. And it wasn't Halloween. Some random "Commerce Day" decided to complicate our P-Day. Our plans fell through because of it, but that's okay. We made the best of the worst and had a pretty good P-Day.

There's a neat little artesans building place thing in the center of Teresina. I found some pretty neat little things there. There were several shops that sold artworks and crafts that the local people here in Teresina made.

I got to know a bit more about the culture and history of Piauí!

Things are going great. We're teaching a young man named Arnaldo. He's 21 and he's studying to be a veterinarian. He's very intelligent and is understanding what we're teaching him, very easily. He is really liking church. He has many questions that we're answering and I feel he is progressing very well.

I'll let you know how he progresses!

Elder Rackham

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mission Reflections

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It's interesting, this feeling. I look back on my mission, and I see the progress I've made. I've changed. I've become a better person. I've developed many good habits, and abilities. But the more I notice this, the more I see the necessity to keep going. I can't stop after my mission. There's much more to improve one.

I was thinking also about the people we are teaching. I wonder if they ever ask themselves, what kind of person do I want to be 10 years from now? That's not a common question in today's society. In today's society, we ask ourselves what do we want to do 10 years from now, where do we want to be in our carreer, what do we want to have in the future. But rarely, does society teach us to worry about our character.

To me, that is one of the great blessings of the restored gospel. The desire we have to be a better person, to walk a little taller, to smile more, and be enthused with life, that to me, is one of the great purposes in life. I could have all the money in the world, a great career, house, cars, but if I haven't become a better person, more christ-like, compassionate, patient, humble, diligent, charitable, then what's the point? One day I'm going to die, and where will all that be? Only my character will remain with me.

So recently, I've been asking myself that question: What kind of person do I want to be in the future?

It's a good question I hope we all ask ourselves.

Love you all!
Elder Rackham

Monday, October 17, 2011


So we had a transfer.

Elder Marinho is oging to Araguaína and I'm staying here in Angelim. Elder Alencar is going to come in Elder Marinho's place. It looks like I'm going to finish my mission here in Teresina, in the Angelim Ward.

Elder Alencar has already been out for quite a bit of time, I believe he's been out for almost a year and 6 months, so it'll be nice to have a compnaion that has gone through so many different experiences.

Unfortunately I ran out of time, but I'll update you next week!

With Love,
Elder Rackham

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stake Conference!

This past Sunday was Stake Conference in Teresina. Stake Conference is when all the local congregations of the Church in the local area get together and have a conference. So this past Sunday was just that! Some leaders of the Church came, Elder Godoy was one of them. He's already come to our mission here in Teresina to talk to us, and I loved it. Now I got to see him talking to the local congregations here in Teresina, and it was just as good.

He talked a lot about our responsabilities, and the order of importance. First, we have a responsability for our families, and this responsability comes first. Then we have a responsability for our jobs, and that comes second. Third, is our responsability for the Church, and fourth is our responsability for ourselves. He spent a lot of time talking about our family responsabilities, and used many examples from his family, that happened as he and his wife worked to fulfill these responsabilities and what they learned.

I'll tell one quick story. He said that when he first heard that that fathers should interview their children (sit down individually and talk with them openly about their goals, desires, challenges they're facing, etc) he came home and told his wife, "Honey, I learned today that I need to interview our children." At the time, their oldest daughter was 4 years old. His wife agreed so he called his daughter and said "Renata, daddy needs to interview you." See got all happy and and ran to her room. Elder Godoy was a little confused by this, why she ran to her room, until she came back with a toy microphone, ran back to him, held it up to him and asked "Who do you want to send a kiss to, Dad?"

I got a chuckle out of that. But, he explained that he was talking to his 4 your old daughter as if she was an adult, and that we need to adapt the teachings to our families according to the ages and situations of our family members. So I learned several things from this, that I can apply when I'm a father.

Well, until next week!

Elder Rackham