Monkey!

Bom dia!

Life here is Abaetetuba is great! Let me start by responding to mom’s questions: The church attendance here in the branch last week was 109. Whoa I forgot to mention something cool about the Abaetetuba branch! So right now we meet in a house that was modified to become a chapel and classrooms, but soon we’ll be getting an upgrade! They’re building a new church that’s going to be really pretty (and big!) right on the main street here. Everyone in this city knows about the Mormon church, and people even stop us on the street telling us they are going to want to visit the big, beautiful church (“Your church is by far the prettiest church we’ve ever seen here!”). They say that it should be dedicated in April, so we’re anxiously waiting! And I’m sure hoping I’ll still be here then, of course.

Yup we 4 missionaries are all in the same branch! But we split the city in half, so we have different areas. Nope actually Elder O and I hardly ever speak inglês, only when we break out in song. As of yet I haven’t seen any of the other missionaries from Belém, but I think we’ll having a zone conference soon, and it will be nice to see all the new faces and a few old friends.

Sorry this’ll be a short letter, got tied up writing president and doing a survey… but let me think of one more fun story. Oh yeah, saw another monkey on the outskirts of town! But this one was way bigger, about the size of a dog. I was going to try to get closer to it, but lady with which we were visiting told us that that type of monkey took a good chunk out of her leg when she was a child… so on second thought, maybe not.

Well gotta go, love you bye!
Elder Maughan

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Yes It’s True, PB&J

Happy Eric’s Birthday! Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day also. It’s tough to decide which is more important, since these two holidays are equally celebrated here in Brazil.

Life is good here in Abaetetuba! Mom asked a little about the district and zone here, let me describe. There are 5 companionships in my district, and 7 in total in the zone Barcarena. There are 4 americans (including me), one companionship of Sisteres, and one missionary couple also! Elder e Sister M were actually in the CTM with me, so it’s been fun working with them here and getting to talk to them again (especially now that I can understand them!). They do all the same things that we do, the only difference is that they have a car, haha.

Abaetetuba is actually a branch, there are 3 branches here in the Barcarena District. But it’s growing! Yesterday the attendance was 105 actually, which is the highest it’s been here in Abaetetuba in a long while. We live with the other companionship (Elder O and Elder de O), but the apartment is plenty roomy enough for us 4. It’s also on the 3rd floor, so we get a nice view of the city (there aren’t too many 3-story buildings here). Also, that means I get to run up and down the stairs to get a good workout in each morning!

As for other exciting news this week, I gave an English class this week at the English private school of one of the young women in our branch! It was the first time I did that in an actually school, so I was a bit nervous. I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to speak English very well and I’d make a fool of myself in front of them… but it turned out really well! They seemed rather excited to speak with a (North) American, and they had a ton of questions about the culture and traditions, and they couldn’t quite comprehend the fact that I only ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunchtime. But I also got a chance to speak about the church and they seemed genuinely interested in that as well, so it was an all-around good time.

Well I love you all, have a wonderful week! Take care, até mais!
Elder Scott Maughan

A Few Photos From Another Belém Missionary

Brazil-Santarem-101For the six short weeks he served in Santarém, Scott was in the same district as an American sister missionary whose mother is also a part of the Missionary Mom’s email group. The missionary, Sister G, is great about taking photos, and her mother has posted a few of them, including these three fun ones of Scott. I really enjoyed seeing these pictures and I sure appreciate her sharing them with me!

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Spanish-speaking mission?

Back in the land of Açai berries – a favorite of Scott’s

Hola, buenos dias!

Good morning from Abaetetuba! Transfers were another fun adventure. When I flew into Santarém last June, we got in around 3 in the morning, so I couldn’t really see anything. But this last flight was an afternoon one, so it was nice to see all the landscape, by which I mean trees and rivers. After arriving in Belém I went to the mission office, where I met a ton of missionaries that I hadn’t ever met (despite the fact that the all had about a year on the mission haha), including one of Jared Brooksby’s roommates! That was a fun coincidence. Then we took a one hour boat ride and a one hour bus and a one hour car ride, and then I finally arrived at my new home in Abaetetuba!

Also, I met my new companion! Looks like there was a slight mix-up when they told me of the transfers, but my companion isn’t a short term missionary like they said he would be. His name is Elder R, and he’s been out for 8 months or so on the mission. Coolest thing about him: He’s Argentino! Direct from Buenos Aires. So maybe I’ll get the chance to brush up on my español? Haha but actually he speaks português really well. We have fun learning new words together, we made it a goal to learn at least one random word each day. But we seem really similar, both pretty relaxed and happy. He also likes sports (and skiing!), and he’s the oldest sibling, as well as the first missionary in his family. So far we’ve been getting along absolutely great. We’re definitely going to learn a lot from each other.

This was a great week as far as mission work also! We started with absolutely nothing (not knowing any members, no investigators) but we’ve already made some good friendships with the members, and we sure have been getting in some serious practice with tracting! We’ve actually been rather blessed, being led to families who seem to accept our message well. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some fruits of these labors in the coming weeks!

Well thanks for your letters and emails, I really appreciate everything. Love you all, have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,
Elder Maughan

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Last baptism in Oriximiná

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Scott and his new Argentinian companion

Kinda Like the Mountains Dad Hikes…

Feliz Ano Novo (again)!

Hope the new year is treating everyone well! Glad to hear that everyone seems fine and busy, and that Grandpa Maughan is feeling better also. Thanks for all the updates! Also, I got our family Christmas card this week (almost in time!), and I have to say that it’s probably the coolest card that I’ve ever seen in my life. Even Elder Paiva was amazed. I let him read the GH of our family (sorry, I think only Eric will get that…), he seemed the enjoy that. Also, got a Christmas card from the Glenville Ward Laurels – please tell them thanks so much for me!

So my Amazon adventure has finally come to a close. But it was so great while it lasted! I’m going to Abaetetuba. (Abaetetuba = “A buy tay tuba” (more or less)). Looks like it’s going to be another plane+boat+bus transfer! Actually looks like I’m going to be opening up Abaetetuba 2, a second area in that same branch. From what my hear, my companion won’t be a full-time missionary, but a part-time one from here in Belém. This will be another fun adventure! They let people from here serve part-time missions for one or two transfers, close to home.

This last week was amazing, Elder Paiva and I worked a ton and we received tons of help from the members here in the Tapajós Ward. We ended up setting a PR for lessons taught, and we managed to bring several investigators to church, with members bringing others also. Gospel Principles class was pretty packed yesterday, which was so nice to see! Especially since that class didn’t exist in this ward a month ago, haha.

Obviously I’m a little bit sad to leave this area, because it’s really been one of my favorites, if not my favorite. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to actually baptize anyone while I worked here, which is kinda disappointing. But I feel like I was able to help out the ward, planted some seeds, and prepared some great people for the next missionaries to baptize. And of course I learned so much with Elder Paiva and the members here; it was a wonderful transfer!

To celebrate last week in Santarém, we had to do something exciting! A few of us from the district here decided to hike a mountain! Well, “mountain”, I should say. By which I mean “hill”, there aren’t too many mountains up here. It only took about 5 minutes to get up haha. But 5 minutes of hiking through the jungle was pretty sweet! I took a few pictures from up there, I’ll have to send you some soon… sorry mom, I promise I’ll send another DVD of pictures sometime soon! The view was pretty nice, we were able to see just about the whole city. But really we could only see trees and forest for as far as the eye could see… Made me remember that I’m in the middle of the jungle, haha.

Well, love you all, thanks for everyone. Have a wonderful week, até mais!

Com amor,
Élder Scott Maughan