Oww my arms… (and photos of the trip!)

Hey family!

I hope everyone has been having a great June! I agree with Mom, it really seems like it flew by. Congrats of the graduation Craig! I’m sure your speech went well, and Dad’s also! I like to brag about Dad to other missionaries here, and his ability to give speeches is one of the things I like to mention.

So if the other week was one of the craziest weeks of the mission, this last week was one of the most tiring! Are you sure it’s cooler here than in Bragança? It definitely feels hotter… I think it’s because the sun is much stronger here. Anyway, we’ve been pretty tired/sore all week, probably because of a couple service projects Elder Tavares and I have been doing.

On Tuesday we shoveled and spread sand for 2 hours (but in the end the sister we were helping made us juice of cupuaçu, which is really tasty and refreshing). Then Saturday we spent 3 hours helping new family in the ward pull some giant wooden pillars out of their concrete patio, and after we lugged ~1000 bricks from the front of the house to the back of their house. Wow! After not really doing too much manual labor in a long time, that was pretty fun! But needless to say, my biceps and fingers are still killing me. But that family was nice enough to give us lunch afterwards. The people here sure are generous! And they love to make food.

So Elder Tavares is really awesome! We get along really well, and we have a bunch of interests in common. He’s really smart, humble, and funny, and a hard worker too. We love to joke around, which actually seems to be helping my portuguese a ton! He was born in the church also, a second generation missionary in his family, and he’s the oldest of 5 kids. He’s 19 years old (he left for the mission with 18 years), and he’s a great example for me. I’ve already learned a lot from him, especially when it comes to teaching. So far it’s been a great transfer with him, and hopefully I’ll get to stay with him for a couple!

Well I hope everyone has a fantastic last week of June, love you all so much! Take care!

Com amor,
Élder Scott Maughan

Yep – it’s the Amazon!

12 hours on this boat at the end of Scott’s trip to Oriximiná.

On the boat trip on the Amazon. Scott wasn’t kidding when he said it’s a good thing that Brazilians don’t have a personal bubble!

Scott and Elder Tavares

Missão Brasil Manaus?

Scott’s new zone with President and Sister Campos. The sister missionary in pink is also American and also runs for BYU!

Hello from Oriximiná — made it here finally! This has been by far the craziest week of the mission so far.  Elder Stacy and I got picked up Wednesday night at 9:00 PM to catch our 1:30 AM flight to Santarém. We landed in Santarém around 3 AM, met up/woke up our companions at 4 AM, and finally slept around 4:30 AM. Thursday we had a zone meeting, which was also Presidente Campos’s going away party. So the whole zone went to the stake president’s camp on small river (basically in the middle of the jungle) to eat, chat, play around, and bear testimony/share some last words with Presidente Campos. We’re really going to miss him! He’s done so much for this mission and this area of Brazil; it’s going to be tough to lose him. But the new president, Presidente Scisci, seems like a great guy also! And since he’s called of God, I have no doubt that God will help him fill the shoes of Presidente Campos.

The next morning we got to play soccer with Presidente Campos! Since soccer is usually not allowed for missionaries here in Brazil, that was a pretty rare treat! I obviously, being American, did not play very well, but that was still way fun to play with all the other missionaries. There were a handful of Brazilians that were playing ridiculously well. And I managed to NOT hurt myself too! Usually I’m not so lucky when it comes to little pick-up games like that. That night, we caught our boat down the river! We left at 7 in the evening from Santarém. At first glance the boat seems really strange, since there are no seats or beds or nothing. But then you realize that’s because everyone sleeps in hammocks! Everyone brings their own hammock to sleep in, and somehow 300 people manage to cram their hammocks together on the 3-story boat. It’s a good thing Brazilians don’t have a “personal bubble”!

Finally disembarked in Oriximiná 7:00 AM on Saturday morning! Despite the fact that I was exhausted from the crazy week, we still managed to get in a solid 2 days of work here in Oriximiná. The ward seems really nice! All the members are really excited, especially after the dedication of the Manaus Temple last week. That’s another thing – I’m really in the Brazil Manaus mission here. We’re a 36-hour boat ride from Manaus, but Belém is 4 days from here. So everyone here has been to Manaus, but no one has ever been to Belém. But all the members are really friendly and supportive, can’t wait to work with them. Also, Elder Tavares is really awesome! He’s 19 and from São Paulo. He’s also really smart, spiritual, and a great missionary. I think we’re going to have a great transfer together!

Well that’s all for now! Happy Father’s Day, and I wish everyone a wonderful week! Take care, thanks for all the support!

Com amor,
Élder Scott Maughan

Transferring deep into the Amazon Jungle!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day here in Brasil, in case you were puzzled.

Tomorrow is also transfers! Found out that I’ll be going as far away from here as I possibly can, to a city called Oriximiná. To get there it’s going to take 4 hours in a bus, 1 hour in a plane, and 12 hours on a boat! Haha this is going to be way interesting. But don’t worry Mom, I’ll take pictures.

The green marker on the far right is Bragança, where Scott is currently serving. The yellow marker on the far left is Oriximiná, the jungle city where Scott is being transferred.

But I’m going to miss Bragança a ton! The people here are so nice and motivated, and they love to help the missionaries out with everything. When I was writing in my journal last night I realized that I’m going to miss this area even more than Paar, my first area, because I was able to make more friends and become closer friends here with members and investigators, probably due to the fact that the language has been getting a little better here. But this is part of the mission! And I’m exciting to help and meet more people in Oriximiná also.

Not sure if you guys heard in the States, but the Templo de Manaus was dedicated yesterday! That was a really great experience. I vaguely recall the dedication of Winter Quarters, but I couldn’t remember anything, so that was pretty much the first dedication I had seen. I really enjoyed how the chapel turned into part of the temple, where a recommend was required. While it was a little bittersweet, just because we’re hoping the same thing will happen here in Belém soon, it was great to see the people in Manaus being so blessed. The night before they presented a cultural celebration, full of cultural dances, and also a small skit representing the sacrifice that the members had to make to attend the temple. Tons of fun!

Well love you all, I’ll let you know how the voyage went next week! Take care!
Love,
Élder Scott Maughan

“Me with a family from the ward. The young man farthest on the left just got back from his mission while I was there, and was the ward mission leader. Really helpful guy!”

“Élder Lopes burning a tie at the 6 month mark (not something that I did, by the way)”

Just Like Cereal in Milk, Right?

Happy June!

I hope everyone had a great end of May and start of June! I won’t lie – I was pretty excited for June to start, mostly because the suspense of what would be the next picturesque photo in my Adirondacks calendar was killing me.

May ended well! I had a ton of meetings this week, with zone meetings in the beginning of week and ward meetings in the end of the week. But they were great, and productive! I remember more or less dreading meeting before the mission… that’s on my list of one more attitude change I’ll need to keep when I return. Obviously, sometimes meetings get nothing done. But when everyone participates and afterwards actually does what they say they will do, it’s amazing what even a quick, little meeting can do!

So I remembered I haven’t talked about food for a while… that’s probably because I arrived in Bragança just after the era of açai for R$2. I can’t believe I missed that! Right now it’s R$8, since we’re out of season. But there’s plenty of other awesome foods here to make up for it. Seafood is really popular here in Bragança, and lately I’ve been loving the shrimp! It’s way different here: much cheaper, smaller, saltier, and (hate to break it to you) fresher. And super tasty! Grab a handful of shrimp that had just been taken out of the sea that morning, wash them, pluck off the heads, the tails, the antennas, and the legs, and you’ve got a great afternoon snack! I also hear they are absolutely amazing mixed in a bowl of açai, so I’m thinking that Elder F. Lopes and I will have to throw in some cash to experiment with that this week, in case I get transfered from here next week.

Well, love you all! Thanks for all the support. I really appreciate everything you do. Take care, until next week!

Com amor,
Élder Scott Maughan