Dearest family,

It’s almost Christmas! I hope all of you are excited as well! Our house is all decorated, we have plenty of music bringing the Christmas spirit, we have sooo many sweets (thanks Grandpa and Grandma Watson!), and the presents are under the tree. Elder Paiva is extremely interested to know what he got. Speaking of which, I tried once again to send a photo of us, but I can’t ever seem to get this internet to upload the photo… sorry!

So to explain why I’m writing you on Tuesday… yesterday was our zone Christmas conference! That was really awesome. So let me clear up mom’s zone/district question first. There are 2 districts in the Zone Santarém. The first is the Oriximiná/Óbidos district, and the other in the Santarém district, which has 5 companionships (including the zone leaders). So yesterday the 14 of us got together with Presidente e Sister Scisci also for our big Christmas party. Before lunch we played volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Oh get this: I made a goal! Haha it was pretty sweet, not gonna lie. Even all the Brazilians complimented me on it. Now I can cross “score a goal playing soccer with Brazilians” off my bucket list. After all that playing and running, we’re pretty exhausted and sore today… I had totally forgotten how that feeling is, it was a nice reminder.

After playing we had a huge lunch at a nice BBQ restaurant, which is just like Tucano’s in Provo except that it REALLY Brazilian. The meat (and roasted pineapple) was sooo good. After, we watched Ice Age 4 (I didn’t even know there was a 3rd…), opened secret santa presents, played card games, and played the piano and guitar until finally returning home late at night. It was a really nice break! At the end, President Scisci gave a nice, short, motivating “let’s get back to work” talk, so now we’re pretty rested (more mentally than physically) and excited to start this week and finish off the year on a high note.

So here’s a fun cultural difference. Here, when someone speaks about Christmas, they mean MIDNIGHT between the 24th and 25th. Everyone celebrates at midnight with fireworks, and the giving of presents, and all of that. All the Christmas parties are on the 24th at night. So technically our plans for “Christmas” are to just sleep and wake up when people start to light fireworks. But we already have a few invites from the members to come over on the 24th at night. So that should be a fun night! Not sure if the Presidente Scisci will let us stay out a little longer or no, we’ll see.

Well, thanks for all the letters and the love, I really appreciate it! I hope everyone is having a wonderful and happy Christmastime. Until next week, take care!

Com amor,
Elder Scott Maughan


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