Natal na Amazona! [Christmas in the Amazon!]

Feliz Natal!

Although I’ll be able to say that in person soon too! And you’ll even be able to see me, because we get to use Skype! The family of Paulo and Sonia (the couple getting married Thursday) has internet, so we’re setting that up. Hopefully I’ll be able to translate if they want to talk to you, haha. Also, the 17 year old son knows some English; I told him he’ll have to practice with you. Oh and to answer your question, their two sons are already baptized, so Thursday should just be the parents and the 9 year old daughter. Of course Elder Bispo and I still have to finish planning the wedding… an interesting task on our to-do list I’d say.

I’ll let you know when I get the Christmas card! I sent another letter home this week, so if the second gets to you before the first then we know there’s a problem. The first had letters to Jared and Otis, I sure hope they get there! Otis’s status made me laugh [we sent him a screen shot of your Eggnog Challenge post on FB, Otis!] – man I miss him. Also, Coach Button’s letter never got here… but I think I’ll write him next time I have time on P-day. Oh and I haven’t gotten the other Christmas package yet… hopefully tomorrow! We put up the rest of the Christmas decorations today, getting in the Christmas spirit! Actually I lied – it’s super hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it’s 90+ outside. But with the new Christmas music I’ll try my best!

So Sunday was the Primary Program, which everyone in the ward made a really big deal about, inviting tons of people. And of course we invited tons of people as well! And it all paid off – 240 people showed up! We generally have 150 or so in our sacrament meetings. We technically had 22 investigators there (sorry Melissa, kinda beats your record). The program went really well though, so hopefully everyone wil be coming back again. Although if that’s the case the church is going to have to buy some more chairs, because those were seriously lacking in the rest of the meetings yesterday.

Also, we’ve been working a lot recently with members who are reactivating, which is a really next experience. There are two couples specifically that we are teaching where the wife has been a faithful member for a while, and the husband is just now coming back to church. It’s really neat because they are always talking about what they can do to qualify to go to the temple, because they want to be an eternal family! That’s one reason all the missionaries in Belém are working hard and have high expectations; we want to bring a temple and all those amazing blessings to all the amazing members here in Belém. But we only have one more General Conference before Presidente Campos is released… and he’s making sure we know that! In running terms, I’d say he’s kicking it in pretty hard.

So Elder Bispo is from São Paulo, and he’s the oldest of 3 kids who live with their mom. The 4 of them were baptized 7 years ago, but he’s the only active one in his family. Although just recently his family started to go back to church! Which I can tell is really exciting for him, although he doesn’t mention it too much. It’s great to see how his mission is blessing his family! He’s 21 years old and worked for two years before coming on the mission. He’s been here in Paar for more than 5 months now, which means that neither of us have been anywhere but here on our mission. He’ll make 4 transfers here, and the people here will be very sad if he leaves in January!

Wow long ranting letter? Sorry! Pictures – the first one is of people just waiting for the bus outside the church (kinda random) and the second is a mamão [papaya] tree so full of mamão that Elder Bispo told me I had to take a picture, he’s never seen one so full. So I did! Well have a fantastic week and a very Merry Christmas! Love you all!

Com amor,
Élder Scott Maughan

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