Week 3? or 4?

Hey everyone again!

Not too much has changed here! Every week more and more Americans leave, and every week less and less Americans arrive, so we are getting quite outnumbed here by the Brazilians. It’s really fun though! I know enough Portuguese to at least have a small conversation with them (if I can get them to talk really slow), and they are all friendly and nice. If only I had already known Portuguese, I would have left today! All our Brazilian friends that had arrived the same time as us left this morning, and we definitely all really miss them. We took lots of pictures with them though! Except can’t figure out how to attached them on this computer… I’ll try that again next week, sorry!

The learning here is going really well! Portuguese is coming along pretty well still I think. All our professors and people we teach say that our district is farther ahead then most districts are by this point. I think having a small district and being surrounded by Brazilians is really helping. Yup we’re still at 5 people right now, although if anyone that was supposed to be in our district got their visas in the past month they would come tomorrow. One elder came last week, a week ahead of us. He says that there are about 200 elders waiting for their visas in the Provo MTC. Crazy! Makes me really greatful that I was able to get mine. There are probably not even 30 Americans here now.

Oh so kinda cool fact. There are two Japanese sisters here that we do lots of activities with (they count as a “North American district” and only a week ahead of us), and those sisters are the first Japanese sisters ever to be called to Brazil! They are really incredible, they both only knew a small amount of English from studying at BYU Hawaii, so they are really learning two languages at the same time. They are super nice, super funny, and full of energy too. If I ever figure out how to hook up my camera I’ll show you a picture of them also!

Wow Hurricane Irene? Thats crazy! Thanks for sending those pictures, that’s incredible. I’m glad everyone is okay! And I’m glad you had internet too, haha. I suppose I’ll have my share of rain for the next few years. I wish I could’ve gone to Lake George! I hope you guys had a great time. Love you all, take care!

Sincerely,

Elder Scott Maughan

P.S. Subject: I’m technically what we call a “4th week”, but I haven’t even been here 3 weeks yet, so it’s a bit confusing!

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I Can’t Make Up Interesting Subject Lines Like Melissa Can

Hey family!

Thanks for the letters! I really loved reading them.

One lone Elder came from home this week and they put him in our district, so now we’re up to 5 in our district! He’s a week behind too but I think he’ll catch up easily. Our district works really hard, but we also make sure we have fun too. Our two instructors are awesome, they can really bring the spirit when they need to and they can really make us laugh when we need to. Our goal for this next week is to talk more to each other in Portuguese! Also my companion and I gave a lesson almost entirely in Portuguese. Not the greatest lesson in the world, but we’ll have to be teaching in Portuguese eventually I suppose so why not try now?

From what I hear only 1 more elder is coming this week, not sure what they’ll do with him. It really does seem incredibly hard to get a visa here now. I wish JR was coming here! It’s way fun meeting people you know here. For instance, Elder Michael Biancardi! He’s the one who wrote and conducted that song I played the cello for in winter semester at BYU. He just left for his area yesterday, but while he was here he composed an arrangement of “Where Can I Turn For Peace” that he taught the whole CTM to sing (and play for the few instruments and vocalists) for the fireside last Sunday. It was absolutely amazing, one of the best arrangements of any hymn I’ve ever heard, and really brought the spirit too. And the incredible thing is that he wrote it without ever hearing it before Sunday! He’s so talented. I gave him my address, he and I are going to keep in touch.

But yeah what I was going to say is yes from what I hear there should be 15-20 in our district, the rest must be in Provo. And Sister R is going to Belem! She’s the lone sister in the district, but she’s really fun and it’s great having her there. Also going to Belem is a group of Brazilian Elders we sit with at most meals! They are really fun, one of them knows English pretty well which helps a ton. Speaking of meals, the food in the CTM is great! Rice and beans every meal (just as a side dish), amazing fresh fruit every meal, and the main dishes and desserts are so good too. I’ve eaten so many things that we don’t have at home, and I know the names for… none of them, sorry!

Preparation days are nice too. This morning we actually went to the Campinos Temple because Sao Paulo was closed (that makes 6 different temples in 6 visits!). Then we got back, put in our laundry, and go write emails! We’re planning on hitting the town after this. By which I mean walking to the post office to mail letters, maybe go to the paper store to get pens, and then maybe get a cookie or pastel. Then we really want to play volleyball! We get really really into volleyball, we play it for gym everyday. Turns out everyone in my district is at least pretty solid at volleyball so we have really good games (not keeping score of course).

Well I hope you are all having a fantastic day and have a fantastic week! Love you all!

Sincerely,
Elder Scott Maughan

First Email Home!

Hey family!!

I am glad everyone is doing well! It was really nice to get emails from everyone, hopefully I will have some time to write everyone back! But probably not… I have to get used to this computer thing, and this keyboard. For instance, I keep accidentally typing ç and ~, and also I cannot find the apostrophe button. Oh nevermind, I’ve found it!

That is very nice of mom to give me a list of question to answer! Don’t worry I would have told you everything anyway haha. When I got to Atlanta I eventually found my way to the International terminal (which I must say is probably the most exciting terminal to be in ever, I didn’t hear any English) and then waited by my flight looking for suits… nope. I was definitely the only missionary in the airport. But don’t worry, I have proof that God was still looking out for me and didn’t want me to be alone. I got on the plane and sat in front of a Brazilian couple who were Mormon! Unfortunately they spoke zero English… But then a Brazilian lady sat down next to me, and she turned out to be Mormon also! AND she had lived in Utah\Idaho for 25 years and spoke almost perfect English! We had a great time talking, she had served a mission also and she gave me lots of great advice and encouragement. I gave her one of my cards to have my address because she said she wanted to write to me!

So yeah, it was all very crazy how all of the people in the picture ended up there. Elder M flew in from Dallas about 2 hours before me, so I met him when I got here. Everyone else in that pictures also flew out of Dallas, but their flight got delayed and delayed and then cancelled, so they didn’t end up getting to the CTM until 3:30 thursday morning! And visas are apparently a huge problem. Sister R, Elder K to my right (from Rochester), and the Elder N two to my left are the only ones who came from home, the rest came from Provo after at least 3 weeks. So the four of us are our own district! We are a trio of elders, and we get along really well, they are both really awesome guys. All 3 of us actually went to BYU! Sister R is really funny and ALWAYS laughing, so I love my district, we are getting really close and it hasn’t even been a week!

I love learning Portuguese! I think I’m catching on really quickly actually. I already know the door approach, how to give a pretty lengthy prayer and bear a pretty lengthy testimony, and the first vision. I just need to learn how to communicate with the other Brazilians! Elders K and N and I are the only Americans on our floor, and we have a few Brazilian roommates, and its so much fun talking to them. They like to practice their English with us too haha. But I already have made definite improvements as far as being able to communicate and understand them, although I definitely have so much more work to do! They all talk so fast…

But learning Portuguese is not the main reason I’m here! I think teaching is the area that I most have to improve on, but I suppose thats another reason why I’m here! It’s certainly been getting better, and I know I’ll be doing more practice this week. Just have to keep working! Since I hear that work work work is the key to success. I actually have been trying my best to work as hard as I can, including while my companions were napping Sunday afternoon and on the way to and from the Temple this morning (which was soo awesome!).

Well I love you all! Sorry about the essay, I don’t have time to write to everyone individually… but I’ll try to be a bit more concise with this letter next week. Have a wonderful week!

Love,
Elder Scott Maughan

He’s There!

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark

Elder Maughan … at last!

After a nearly five month wait, Scott flew out of Albany Airport this evening, heading for Atlanta. It’s likely that he’ll meet other missionaries there who are flying from other parts of the US. (It helps that they’ll all look pretty much alike at this point!) Then he has an 11 hour overnight flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will enter the Missionary Training Center tomorrow. We’ll really miss Scott here but are excited about all the new experiences he’ll be having in the next two years.

By Thursday morning, we should receive an email from the MTC letting us know that Scott arrived safely, and hopefully we’ll have an email from him at the beginning of next week.