Hello from the Amazon! Well, more or less.
This has been a crazy past couple weeks! So much to say, probably not going to remember to say half of it. And I’m going to apologize ahead of time that I’m probably not going to have time to put pictures in the email, but I haven’t taken any here yet.
First, the last week of the CTM was awesome! It was a bit sad that we were all leaving each other after 2 month together, but we already started planning our party for when we get back. Also all the professors were sad we were leaving; there were multiple instructors that said we were one of the best American districts they’ve met. But someone pointed out that the mission is all about creating a good relationship with people – and then leaving them. So I guess that was my first taste of this!
Oh and also, I only received one letter (a really nice one from Sister Crosby on my very last day) in the final 2 1/2 weeks in the CTM. Our whole district only received mail twice in that time period, where we had been consistently getting letters before that. So I have a feeling that there are whole bunch of letters that I probably won’t ever see. But the lady who works in the CTM said that she’d try to forward the ones that make it, so there’s still a chance. But the mail service here is either still in a strike or way behind on the mail. But from what other people in my district have confirmed with parents and friends, there is a good amount of mail that did not ever find its way to the CTM.
There were actually 6 Brazilian Elders and a Sister that also went to Belém with Sister R and me, but she and I were basically companions because we were sitting by ourselves on the opposite side of the plane haha. But it was nice to have the Brazilians there, 1) because all of them were really funny and awesome and 2) because they knew what they were doing. We had a layover in Brasilia (hi Eric!) then finally arrived in Belém, where when we landed it was a cozy 34 degrees C (who wants to look that one up?). We met President Campos, who was funny, really nice, smart, really spiritual, and knows no English. And he was a bit hard to understand, but I got a little more used to it. His wife is really sweet (and easier to understand). We ended up having meeting and interviews and orientation forever, and I finally got to my house in my first area just before midnight. Long day, considering I had to wake up at 4 for the flight!
So my first area is Paar, which is part of Cidade Nova, which is just outside the main city of Belém. It covers Paar and Curaçamba (not sure if you can find those on a map). Paar is a little more developed, as far as Amazon Brasil goes, and Curaçamba is less developed, so it’s a really cool area to work. Definitely way different than anything I’ve ever seen in the US, makes me think about how rich even the poorer people in the US are. There are always tons of people constantly out on the streets too. Its really interesting to see how culture is different in areas where it never ever gets cold. Everything is open and people are just out and about everywhere, or just sitting in front of their houses. I’ll try to take some pictures today and send them to you, because that’s way easier than trying to describe it in words.
My first companion is Elder B, and he’s from Campinas, by São Paulo. He’s really nice, very talkative, but also knows no English. But I guess this gives me a good opportunity to learn. And he’s actually only been in the field for two transfers! It occurred to me yesterday, and I confirmed it with him, that I received my mission call before he did. So we’re both pretty new, but he knows a lot and is teaching me a lot. And I’m slowly getting more used to his Portuguese too.
Oh and believe it or not it’s kinda hot here! Let’s just say that I was already sweating at 8 this morning just sitting in my house in a chair in front of a fan. I don’t know the degrees, and I don’t really want to know the degrees, but it gets pretty bad, to say the least. On the bright side, I sweat so much that no matter how much water I drink I never have to pee! I’ll eventually get used to the temperature and climate though. And actually once the sun goes down at 6:10ish (which I realized it will every single day) the temperature really is kinda nice! It’s just the 12 hours before that…
Well thanks so much for the updates! Glad to hear everything is going well, sorry I didn’t really respond to anything you said, but that is some great news! Did you ever get the letter I sent two weeks ago? I do like sending letters, especially because even though we do have an hour to send emails here I feel much less pressured haha. Hopefully some of those letters will make it to me soon! And I hope you have a have great week, love you all!
Elder Scott Maughan
Brazil Belém Mission
Av. Nazaré, 532 Sala 412 4° Andar
Nazaré Royal Trade Center
66035-170 Belém – PA