2 Weeks till Belém!

Hello family! Nice to hear from you! Not quite sure what the deal is with the mail strike, we get just a few letters once or twice a week, but the ones we receive were sent anywhere from a week ago to 3 weeks ago. Kinda confusing! I really have no clue if the letters I’m sending are getting through or if letters sent to me are coming through either.

Thats so great that Aaron got his visa! It’ll be nice to see a familiar face. Also, I think J.R. might be coming tomorrow! I thought I heard a Gleason on the list of people coming. 16 or so Americans should be coming from Provo tomorrow, thats a good sign. As of now I’m still the only one from our stake though. 6 missionaries came last week, including one into our district! We were a little worried, just because we’d become so close over the last 6 weeks that we weren’t sure how it was going to be, but he’s awesome! Elder H is from NJ, and he fits in perfectly. Since he’s going to Brasilia just like Elder N, he’s in our companionship. He has two more friends in his old district in Provo going to Belem. I’m looking forward to meeting Elder G.

The temple sessions have all been in English except once. The temple here is so nice, and just last week we went to the baptistry for the first time and it’s absolutely amazing!

Our roommates left today! We miss them – we’ve gotten so lucky with the Brasileiros that we’ve had in our room. Both times they have been super nice and helpful. I hope we get new Brazilian roommates next week!

Oh and violin went really well. I’m actually playing again tonight. And Elder K in our district is conducting the music tonight and asked me to play a short duet with Sister R on the piano (she’s absolutely amazing at it). Oh, if you get the chance you should look up the Brazilian Hino Nacional, so that you can get a sense of what all the Americans have to try to stumble through every Sunday. Warning though, it always gets stuck in my head!

Well I think thats it for most of the exciting news this week. We go proselyting on Monday around the neighborhood for the first time, that will be exciting! We’ll be giving out Book of Mormons, I hope it goes well! And I hope we can understand people haha. Well take care, love you all!

Sincerely,
Elder Scott Maughan

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Big Debut Tonight!

This week has been good! Nothing too exciting…. Oh actually one thing that might be exciting, there might be a strike with the mail service in Brazil! One started last Wednesday, but then we got mail on Friday… but then we haven’t gotten mail since… so not totally sure what is going on with that! Kinda hope that it’s not still going on, guess I’ll find out later today when we try to go to the post office.

We’re down to 19 Americans here! But 6 more are coming tomorrow (4 from home), so hopefully thats a good sign that things are changing. Glad to hear Aaron might be getting his visa, it would be nice to see another familiar face who should be here. I leave for Belém the 11th of October, 3 more weeks! That means that we head out with the Brazilians that will be arriving this Thursday. Hopefully some of them are going to Belém also! If not, then Sister R and I might be companions on the trip to Belém. I’m glad there are at least two of us! It’s a 5 hour flight from what I hear.

Oh yeah, a normal day! So we wake up at 6:30, eat breakfast, study the scriptures/Preach My Gospel/Portuguese for a little bit, go to TRC and practice teaching, study some more, go to gym for an hour (volleyball!), eat lunch (always delicious), have class where we learn more about the gospel and the language and how to teach, then go to dinner, then study more, then have more class, then have a snack, then talk to Brazilians for an hour (when we should be getting ready for bed), then we are usually in bed as close to 10:30 as possible. The classes are awesome, we got really lucky with our teachers. They are both native brazilians (obviously) who speak english really well. They are also both really smart, really instructive, and absolutely hilarious. Probably at least once a week I laugh so hard I cry. We have a really fun district, but everyone is also really spiritual and hardworking. It’s a really good combo.

Oh and the schedules does change too! Some days we have devotionals that we all go to instead of night class. We have one tonight, and I’m playing the violin for the choir! Can’t wait haha. It’s just Sweet Hour of Prayer (O Doce, Grata Oraçao) so it’s pretty easy… I hope! Also Tuesdays we have Preperation Day, where we go to the São Paulo Temple in the mornings (it’s soo beautiful) and then come back and all afternoon we just write letters/emails, sometimes play volleyball, and we go walk around the street outside and run errands. That’s one plus of being here in the CTM, on our P-Days we are allowed to leave the CTM and go pretty much where ever we want. It’s really nice!

Glad to hear the family and friends are doing well! Have a fantastic week!
Love,
Elder Scott Maughan

Work please!

Scott's CTM district Hello family!

Yup, finally made it past the halfway point here in the CTM! It feels like it’s gone by pretty quickly though. Oh and I made an outline of what I might say today hopefully I’ll have time to try to add pictures at the end haha.

First of all, we got new roommates this week! They are both Brazilian, and they are super cool. And I’m getting to the point where we can have conversations and I can understand them better! Our whole district is definitely making improvements, I think being totally surrounded here by the language has really helped. Now that we can have conversations (slowly) with the guys in our room and in our hall, it’s been really fun getting to know them. It’s kinda crazy to think that they still leave a couple weeks before us, we are here for so long! But thats okay, I like it.

So we came to the conclusion that Brazilian Sisters are easier to understand than Brazilian Elders. Luckily Sister R (who is still the only other American going to Belém here) knows all of them, so when we sit next to her, we sit next to all the other Sisters also! The first day one of the Sisters told me that she had a friend living in Utah that had a pictures with me, and I was soo confused because I definitely had never heard of the name before. Turns out, she was confusing me for Eric! Thought I could get away from being confused for Eric in Brazil, guess not! That made me laugh a ton though.

Every Sunday we sing the Brazilian National anthem, which is super fast and hard to sing and uses words that even Brazilians don’t know. Fun to try singing though! Anyway, this past Sunday, September 11th, I wanted to do something patriotic so I asked the CTM president if all the Americans could sing The Star Spangled Banner before we started the devotional and he said yes! So we had a translator explain what we were going to sing and why, then all the Americans (only 25 of us) stood up front and sung the national anthem, and it was amazing. The international director of MTCs was at this meeting too, and he said that he really liked it. Proud to be an American! And excited to become semi-Brazilian too, of course.

Last thing before I try to figure out pictures, I might actually get to use my cello skills! There’s a violin here that they use with choir songs, but the last person who knows how to play the violin is leaving next Tuesday. But I was playing around with it the other day (holding it like a cello on my lap) and my friends said I had to sign up to use the violin next, and since I give in to peer pressure really easily I did! Looks like I might be teaching myself how to play the violin haha.

Okay I tried to attach the pictures, don’t know if it worked? Hope it did!! AAllssoo eevveerryytthhiinngg iiss ddoouubbbblleedd rriigghhtt nnooww aanndd II ddoonn”tt kknnooww wwhhyy… wweeiirrdd!! HHaahhaa hhaavvee aa ggrreeaatt wweeeekk!!

SSiinncceerreellyy,,
Elder Sccoott MMaauugghhaann

pp.ss. tthhiiss ccoommppuutteerr iiss hhaavviinngg aa ttoouugghhtt ttiimmee hhaahhaa.

We should probably give them a chance to surrender

Hey family!

Thanks for the letters! And thanks Dad and Eric for the postcards! Now my district has pictures of Portland, Las Vegas, and Wyoming tacked on the wall haha. We’ve been working on decorating our room. And sorry I didn’t bring my camera this time! I’ll try again next week. Since we can’t take pictures outside of the CTM I don’t have any super exciting pictures to share yet anyway, but I’ll try to add some next week.

I’m really sorry to hear about Sister Bentley, that’s so sad. Thank you for keeping me updated though. I’ll make sure I keep her family and Sister Love in my prayers.

Three more elders arrived this week. They all came from Provo after 5 or 6 weeks. But three is still an improvement! Is that elder from PA coming this week? Well I guess I’ll find out before I hear back from you haha. We’ve heard that two elders are coming from home this week, which will be the first time anyone has come from home since Elder Stinnett joined our district 3 weeks ago. I hope more come! There are actually more Latinos here than there are American right now. So there’s quite a mix of languages here! When we since in choir we occasionally since a verse in each language (sometimes Japanese too!) so it’s pretty interesting and really neat.

Yes I am loving volleyball still! Actually the 2 other districts that we have gym with have challenged my district to a game of volleyball tomorrow (non-competitive, of course), so it will be their best 6 people again the 5 of us. Hardly fair, I think. We should probably give them a chance to surrender.

The language is still going well! Since our friends left last week we haven’t had so many Brasileiros to talk to, but just the past couple days we’ve been meeting some guys on our floor. They speak really fast and none of them know English, but the more we talk the more we can understand them! It’s actually really funny, because we can have a conversation about church pretty easily (even though us Americans are still talking pretty slow), but I am soo lost if we try to talk about anything else haha. I guess that will come eventually! Probably not as important right now anyway.

Teaching is coming along better too! Last Saturday we taught an actual family from a Casa Verde ward, which was extremely nerveracking but still a great experience! It was probably more of a learning experience for Elder N and me, but a good one nonetheless. We are certainly improving, and smoothing out our lessons much better. Definitely still have a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying it. Also, I’ve been trying to read the Book of Mormon in Portuguese the past couple weeks and it’s getting easier and easier and I’m understanding more and more, which is a good sign!

Well sorry nothing terribly exciting has happened this past week! I’ll try harder to get some pictures on here next week, so you can see what it’s like. Take care, love you all!

Sincerely,
Elder Scott Maughan