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!
Élder Scott Maughan